An Appeal to His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn

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December 1, 2016

Your Majesty King Vajiralongkorn:

We are the Thai Alliance for Human Rights, a non-profit and non-partisan organization based in the United States, and an NGO representative in the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC).

We understand that you have accepted the invitation to be King to fulfill the royal intention of your father King Bhumibol for the benefit of all Thais. As King, you are now in a position to further the human rights of all Thais. As King Mongkut, Rama IV, promoted science education, King Chulalongkorn oversaw the end of slavery, King Prajadhipok accepted a constitution, and your father King Bhumibol promoted development projects for the poor, you now have the great opportunity to give Thais freedom of speech and genuine democracy.

We hope that you respect and cherish, as we do, the principles of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, especially:

Article 1: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood”;

Article 7: “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. . . .”;

Article 19: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”;

and

Article 21: 1. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. 2. Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country. 3. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

We call on you to further these principles by:

1) Freeing all lèse majesté prisoners effective immediately and compensating them from royal funds.
2) Calling for an end to the brutal lèse majesté law that represses the free speech of all Thai citizens and strangles the democratic process.
3) Announcing your intentions to serve as a ceremonial monarch only, a symbol of the country, with no involvement in politics.
4) Call for an immediate return to democracy under a civilian rule.
5) Ratify the Rome Statute to accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court to ensure that Thai citizens will not be massacred by the Royal Thai Army without consequences again.

We also ask that you put to rest the rumors that ex-Princess Srirasmi is dead or being abused. Please prove to the world that she and her imprisoned family members are alive and have not been forcibly disappeared. We also beg that they be pardoned and allowed to resume their pursuit of happiness and enjoy all human rights.

In his lifetime, your father was revered and recognized as a great king and the father of the nation. It is a pity, however, that the biggest blot on his record will be the lèse majesté law enforced on his behalf that results in between 50 and 100 people imprisoned in any given recent year just for publicizing information or expressing an opinion. It is a pity that Thailand’s international reputation has been so severely damaged by the recent coups and this anomalous and archaic lèse majesté law. You have the power to right this wrong, instantly improve the welfare of all Thais, and restore the reputation that Thailand once had as a leader in democracy and human rights in the region.

We wish you a reign that is peaceful, just, and respectful of the universal human rights of all Thai citizens.

The Thai Alliance for Human Rights

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