Amnesty International Thailand has joined other activists in handing a petition with the signatures of 8,517 people to caretaker Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, urging police to withdraw accusations against all political activists.
The rights group has asked the caretaker government to uphold its commitments to international human rights standards, including the right to bail, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, Amnesty International Thailand director Piyanut Kotsan said on Wednesday.
The local group’s move followed a request by the Amnesty International Secretariat in London urging its members, activists and supporters to send a letter to the government to release and/or withdraw charges and excessive bail conditions against people targeted for “peacefully exercising their rights”.
It also asked that all criminal proceedings against them be dropped, and that medical treatment be provided for political inmates on hunger strikes.
Ms Piyanut said Thai authorities frequently file criminal proceedings against political protesters. Since 2020, at least 1,895 protesters have faced charges in connection with their public activism and demonstrations of free speech, she said, quoting figures from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights.
Among them, authorities refused to grant bail to 21 prominent protesters, at least five of whom are still behind bars.
The petition was accepted by Sompas Nilphan, an adviser to the permanent secretary of the PM’s Office.