Prayut government accused of severe ethical breach over Thai constitution violation in torture law delay

PHOTO via Sanook

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) received a petition from the Thai Constitution Protection Association and officials of the May 1992 Heroes’ Relatives Committee. The petition accuses the government of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, particularly Somkid Thepsuthin, the former Minister of Justice, of violating the Thai Constitution through the deliberate postponement of the implementation of the anti-torture and enforced disappearance law.

Srisuwan Janya, secretary-general of the Thai Constitution Protection Association, joined hands with Adul Khiewboriboon, chairman of the May 1992 Heroes’ Relatives Committee, and lodged a complaint against the government of Prayut, accusing them of intentionally violating the Thai Constitution and moral standards. Somkid Thepsuthin, then Minister of Justice, proposed delaying law enforcement from February 22, 2023, to October 1, 2023. He cited the Royal Thai Police’s inability to procure and provide image-recording equipment during arrest and detention.

However, 99 members of parliament challenged the said postponement as an abuse of power contrary to the Constitution. On May 18, 2023, the Constitutional Court reached a verdict, deciding with an 8-1 majority that the postponement constituted a violation. As a result, the law was deemed ineffective, and the original enforcement date of February 22 was reinstated.

The government’s attempt to delay the enforcement of the anti-torture and enforced disappearance law indicated its intention to defy multiple constitutional provisions, particularly Article 53, and caused severe damage to the nation’s legal system and the rule of law.

The Thai Constitution Protection Association and the May 1992 Heroes’ Relatives Committee have jointly lodged a complaint with the NACC to investigate and hold the Prayut government accountable. This action highlights their commitment to upholding ethical standards within the executive branch as mandated by the law, and their dedication to safeguarding the rights and freedoms of citizens as outlined in the Constitution.

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Samantha Rose

Samantha was a successful freelance journalist who worked with international news organizations before joining Thaiger. With a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from London, her global perspective on news and current affairs is influenced by her days in London, Singapore, and Bangkok. She now uncovers general stories related to Thailand.