fredag 18. februar 2022

Amnesty faces pressure to leave Thailand amid ‘growing intolerance’

Amnesty International has said attacks against its operations in Thailand were taking place against a backdrop of “growing intolerance for human rights discourse” among the country’s authorities, and warned of a clampdown on civil society groups. Amnesty has come under increased pressure in Thailand, where ultra royalists have accused it of threatening national security and interfering in the country’s internal affairs after it criticised legal cases filed against monarchy reform protesters.

In November, prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha ordered an investigation into the NGO, while royalist groups have organised petitions calling for it to be expelled from the country. On Thursday morning, a small group of protesters gathered outside the Ministry of Interior, holding signs that said “Get out from Thailand”, and submitted a letter calling for an end to Amnesty’s presence in the country, according to footage broadcast on online news.

Seksakol Atthawong, a vice minister in Prayuth’s office, who has organised a petition against the NGO, said last week that it had attracted 1.2m signatures.