ACTION ALERT Thailand: defend We Walk Solidarity from repression
|Hundreds of people have started a 28-day walk from Bangkok to KhonKaen along the Friendship Road (Mitrparb) demanding the return of civil rights and public participation which were taken away three years ago by the military junta. Their peaceful march is facing repression. Act now to protect their safety, especially the safety of human rights defenders who are likely to be targetedfirst and on whom others rely. The campaign has four main themes: universal health care, farmers’ rights, community and environmental rights, and the Constitution which doesn’t guarantee the fundamental right to participation.|
We Walk…Solidarity has been founded by:
1. Health Security Watch group and People Movement for Social Welfare
2. Alternative Agriculture Network – Food Security
3. National Recourse Network – Community Rights
4. Academic and lawyer Network who observe on the Constitution, Election and Right and freedom violation
Some walkers on day two (21 January 2018)
Protection International (PI) has called for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and all relevant organisations “to ensure that Thailand’s civil society continues operating without harassment.” They are urging people to express their concern that the We Walk marchers should be protected not repressed.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Email/call the Thai authorities expressing your concerns(emails and numbers below).
Urge them to:
1. Immediately halt the harassment initiated against human right defenders who are involved in the We Walk…Solidarity movement, as this is solely motivated by their legitimate and peaceful work in defence of human rights.
2. Take measures to ensure that government officials or other public figures refrain from making statements or declarations stigmatising the legitimate work of human rights defenders.
3. Support the National Human Rights Commissioner Mrs AngkhanaNeelapaijit and her team who will be monitoring the situation on the ground.
3. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Thailand are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions, including judicial harassment.
EMAILS & NUMBERS
· Minister of Tourism and Sports – H.E KobkarnWattanavrangkul
firstname.lastname@example.org Tel : +66 2283-1555 Fax : +66 -2356-0746
· Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand –Mr Don Pramudwinaiminister@mfa.go.th
· Minister of Foreign Affairs Chief of Staff –MrsUrasaMongkolnavinpermsec@mfa.go.th Fax : +66 -2643-5272
|Tweet, Like on FB, contact the media Email/call/ Facebook/Tweet travel agents who organise tours to Thailand. This year is “Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018”. Ask them if they are aware of the suppression of human rights in this popular tourist destination. Follow us @WomenStrike for model tweets. · Tourism Authority of Thailand UK office: https://uk.tourismthailand.org/Send-Complaint|
Tel: +44 20 7925 2511@fanclubthailand · Tourism Authority of Thailand @ThailandFanClub use #LoveThailand · Tourism Authority of Thailand News Room on Facebook and Twitter /@TheTATNews
We Walk…Solidarity is trending big in Thailand. We askpeople everywhere to show support by letting the Thai authorities know that we are following their journey. These women and men must be protected so they reach their destination safely.
Follow their journey: People GO Network on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/People-GO-network-1116982425082083/, #WeWalkเดินมิตรภาพ on Twitter. Circulate information and object to the repression taking place.
Statement from People GO Network below.
For more information: Global Women’s Strike email@example.com
We Walk…Solidarity is organising a series of events. They must be allowed to go ahead.
Every Saturday and Sunday, panel discussions will be held at different locations along the walk which will includetopics as mentioned below:
1. Sunday 28 January 2018: “Welfare State and Golden Card” (the card of Universal Health Care coverage) at Khao Nang KhongKharam Temple, Moo 4, TambonNongSarai, Pak Chong District, NakhonRatchasima Province
2. Saturday-Sunday 3-4 February 2018:“Alternative Agriculture and Food Security”atMueang District, NakhonRatchasima Province
3. Saturday-Sunday 10-11 February 2018:“National Resources and Community Rights” at Ban Pai District, KhonKaen Province
4. Saturday 17 February 2018:“Democracy, Constitution and Election”
WHY WE WALK
We Walk…Solidarity is a movement created in unity and friendship by many different sectors.We Walk with friends. We Walk to meet friends. We Walk to open a space for those who have no other way to freely tell their stories or be heard.
We Walk aims to make visible the insecurity and frustration people feel as a result of the increased dominance of the military government over all parts of Thai society. People are living under threat and with a worsening standard of living. Laws and Decrees are arbitrarily made without due process. For instance:
1. Attempts to withdraw the right to access to Universal Health Care and replace it with charity to be arbitrarily provided to “the poor”
2. Threats to food security with the seizure of land by amending the Plant Variety Protection Act toallow multinationals to monopolize ownership of seeds.
3. Watering down of laws upholding the rights of people and communities to manage their national resources, threatening sustainable development and the future of Thailand. Amendments to the environmental laws promoting investment, allow industry to pollute the environment,t affecting the health of people and community.
4. The 2017 Constitution does not guarantee the full participation of the people which is a pillar of democracy.
We Walk …Solidarity aims to bring people together regardless of the views they hold. The core of democracy and development is the participation of the people at all levels and so We Walk!