Human Lives Human Rights: Long-awaited bills on torture and forced disappearances, the House of Representatives in Thailand finally voted on Thursday in favor of the 4 bills on torture and forced disappearances.
A total of 368 MPs voted in favour of the bills with one abstention.
The draft laws, long sought by their advocates, were sponsored by the cabinet, Bangkok MP Sira Jenjakha, former list-MP of the Prachachat Party Wan Muhammad Nor Matha, and Democrat list-MP Suthas Ngernmuen.
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.
Manop Khiriphuwadol, a list-MP for the Move Forward Party, spoke out in support of the bills, saying it would make state officials respect human rights when performing their jobs.
Phetdao Tohmeena, a list-MP for the Bhumjaithai Party, said the bills were “justice which have sought for three generations”.
She also shared with the MPs news reports about the disappearance of Haji Sulong Tohmeena, her grandfather who vanished in 1955 and was declared by the Pattani provincial court as a missing person.
Ms Phetdao said there were many more families who have suffered a similar fate while proposing there should be no statute of limitations for cases of forced disappearances.