Thailand: Conscientious objector blocked NGO board membership by the Thai Ministry of Interior

Conscientious objector Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal

On 7th May, student activist and conscientious objector Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal shared an internal police report from 2018 on his Twitter account, according to which he got engaged in ‘unsuitable behaviour’ and he cannot be in the Youth Board of Amnesty International Thailand.

Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal was elected in the Amnesty International Thailand's Youth Board in 2018 According to Thai law, Amnesty International Thailand, as a Thai registered association, must submit new board members to the Bangkok registration office. In case of any rejection by the office, registered associations cannot legally proceed with board memberships. Netiwit’s application was rejected by the office in 2018.

Amnesty International Thailand and Netiwit appealed the decision, but the Ministry of Interior rejected their appeal in 2019.

The internal police report shared by Netiwit mentions four points, including his conscientious objection to military service,  explaining his ‘unsuitable behavior’. The police document mentions:

•             Unsuitable behavior that breaches Thai etiquette and culture

•             Non-cooperation with military conscription in accordance with the law

•             Leading and/or participating in a protest that would harm Thai diplomatic relations

•             Actions against provisions and litigation

Thai Enquirer reported that they contacted the Deputy Spokesperson of the Royal Thai Police who said he was unaware of any such document and would investigate the matter.

Source: Thai Enquier, Student activist said his rejection from Amnesty youth board was due to conservative Thai police document, 8 May 2020.

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