The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand has issued a release giving an explanation by the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the statement by International Civil Society Organizations concerning peaceful assembly in Thailand.
The explanation is as follows:
- Thailand adheres strictly to the rule of law and due process, which is transparent and ensures accountability.
- Thus far, those joining the protests represented different groups of people with varying and divergent beliefs and opinions. This has resulted, at times, in confrontation among the different groups leading to an aggravation of the situation and incidents of clashes. In handling such situations, the officials have enforced the law, consistent with international standards and proportionate to the situation.
- The exercise of the basic rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly must be in accordance with the relevant laws, taking into account the safety and the rights of others. This is pursuant to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Thailand is a party, strictly adhering to its obligations thereto.
- In every case where the law is violated, officials take action with strict adherence to the appropriate legal processes without discrimination.
- Officials are duty bound to ensure the safety of protesters and to keep order at the protest site. On 17 November 2020, a number of protesters tried to dismantle the barricades in order to gain entry into a restricted zone. Law enforcement officials were therefore obligated to take measures to contain the situation, which did not represent actions to disperse the protest and were carried out in a proportionate manner.
- On 25 November 2020, protesters were able to exercise their rights and freedom to peaceful assembly as usual without any hindrance.
Source: The Government Public Relations Department