Thailand moves to outlaw torture and forced disappearances

File photo. Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin

BANGKOK (NNT) – Thailand’s House of Representatives voted 368-0, with one abstention, in favor of the 4 bills on torture and forced disappearances.

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin said the law is needed to stamp out torture and forced disappearances by state officials, which are serious human rights violations. The 34-section bill includes penalties for offenders and rehabilitation for victims of such abuse and maltreatment and is in compliance with international treaties on torture and forced disappearances.

According to Mr. Somsak, the bill proposes that cases involving torture and forced disappearances should be treated as special cases and fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI).

The bill also called for the cases to be tried in the Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct and demanded that supervisors, who were aware but failed to stop state officials from committing such abuses, face punishment.