ADPAN Welcomes Thailand’s Commitment To The Abolition Of The Death Penalty At The UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Thailand in Geneva on 11/5/2016

Media Statement – 20/5/2016

 

ADPAN Welcomes Thailand’s Commitment To The Abolition Of The Death Penalty At The UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Thailand in Geneva on 11/5/2016

 

ADPAN (Anti-Death Penalty Asian Network) welcomes Thailand’s commitment to abolish the death penalty. At the 2nd cycle of the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Thailand in Geneva on 11/5/2016, the Thailand delegation led by the Minister of Justice renewed its commitment to the abolition of the death penalty in Thailand.

In the final remarks on 11/5/2015, the Thai delegation orally mentioned that eventhough some 80% of Thais are against the abolition of the death penalty, the government is committed to work towards abolition. They reported that Thailand had been undertaking studies with a view towards abolition for the past 5 years.

The delegation said that Thailand’s plan towards abolition will be carried out in 3 stages. In the first stage, there will be a return of discretion in sentencing to judges for offences that carry the death penalty. In the second stage, there will the abolition of death penalty for certain offences. And lastly, the death penalty will be abolished.

Whilst Thailand outlined the steps towards total abolition, ADPAN notes that no specific time frame was stipulated, and urge Thailand to immediately commit to a moratorium on all executions, and specify in greater detail their plan towards abolition, in particular the time frames.

The last known executions took place In Thailand was in August 2009, when two men were executed in Thailand for drug-trafficking offenses. The previous executions took place in 2003, and it was allegedly to also to test the new method of execution by lethal injection.

Of late, the penalty offences have increased. In March 2015, the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2008 was amended to make human trafficking a capital offense if it causes a trafficking victim’s death. In July 2015, an amendment to the Anti-Corruption Act expanded the death penalty to also foreign officials and staff of international organizations who demand or accept a bribe.

ADPAN notes that sadly that on Friday (13/5/2016), Thailand only supported limited recommendations of member states with regard the death penalty, being to:-

  • Take measures to abolish the death penalty (Madagascar); Take measures aimed at abolishing the death penalty (Togo); Take concrete steps towards abolishing the death penalty (Brazil); Take steps towards abolishing the death penalty (Georgia); and

 

  • Reconsider the abolition of the death penalty as a sentence for various crimes (Ecuador); Review the imposition of death penalty for offences related to drug trafficking (Slovenia);

With regard to the other recommendations, including the establishing of a moratorium on executions, the ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the commutation of death sentence and the abolition of the death penalty, Thailand stated that they will only provide responses in due time, but no later than the thirty-third session of the Human Rights Council in September 2016.

ADPAN urges Thailand to immediately now establish a moratorium on executions pending the consideration of these remaining recommendations, and thereafter by September 2016, to extend this moratorium pending abolition of the death penalty.

ADPAN  also urges Thailand to adhere to the 5 United Nations General Assembly Resolutions, the first being in 2007 and the fifth being on 2014, whereby the global trend is towards abolition, calling for the abolition of the death penalty, and for a moratorium pending abolition.

 

Charles Hector

For and on behalf of

ADPAN(Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network)

 

** ADPAN is a network of groups and persons from about 22 Asia-Pacific countries

 

Notes:-

 

Below are the extracts  of Draft report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review of Thailand, in particular the recommendations from member nations concerning the death penalty, which Thailand already supports, and those recommendations which Thailand are still considering and will revert with a response by September 2016.

 

5.            The recommendations formulated during the interactive dialogue/listed below have been examined by Thailand and enjoy the support of Thailand:

 

5.72.       Review the imposition of death penalty for offences related to drug trafficking (Slovenia);

 

5.73.       Reconsider the abolition of the death penalty as a sentence for various crimes (Ecuador);

 

5.74.       Take steps towards abolishing the death penalty (Georgia);

 

5.75.       Take measures to abolish the death penalty (Madagascar); Take measures aimed at abolishing the death penalty (Togo); Take concrete steps towards abolishing the death penalty (Brazil);

 

 

 

6.            The following recommendations will be examined by Thailand which will provide responses in due time, but no later than the thirty-third session of the Human Rights Council in September 2016:

 

6.1.         Consider ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty (OP2-ICCPR) with a view to abolish the death penalty (Namibia);

 

6.2.         Ratify the OP2-ICCPR (Austria; Montenegro; Panama; Poland; Portugal; Slovenia; Spain); Accede to the OP2-ICCPR (Turkey);

 

6.16.       Carry out the necessary legal reforms to fully abolish the death penalty and accede to the OP2-ICCPR (Mexico);

 

6.22.       Establish a formal moratorium on the death penalty with a view to ratifying the Second Optional Protocol to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (Australia); Establish an official moratorium on executions, and sign and ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR and aim to abolish the death penalty (Germany);

 

6.23.       Immediately establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty (Iceland); Establish a moratorium on the death penalty as in interim measure towards the abolition of the capital punishment (Portugal); Establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty (Bolivia (Plurinational State of));

 

6.24.       Abolish the death penalty by law (Denmark); Abolish the death penalty (Honduras); Abolish immediately the death penalty (Slovakia); Implement the full abolition of the death penalty (Paraguay);

 

6.25.       Repeal the application of the death penalty in all areas (Chile);

 

6.26.       Eliminate the death penalty for crimes that cannot be considered as most serious crimes such as the economic ones (Spain);

 

6.27.       Consider eliminating the clause that expands the use of the death penalty for economic crimes (Timor-Leste);

 

6.28.       Eliminate the death penalty in the new anti-corruption law, repeal the provision that extended the use of the death penalty to economic crimes, and ratify the OP2-ICCPR (Uruguay);

 

6.29.       Repeal the clause expanding the use of the death penalty for economic crimes (Albania);

 

6.30.       Commute the death sentences with a view to abolishing the death penalty (France);

 

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