Thai prison authorities carried out the country’s first execution in nearly a decade on 18 June 2018. Amnesty International fears that others on death row may be at imminent risk after receiving unconfirmed reports that prisoners have in recent weeks had their applications for a royal pardon rejected.
Theerasak Longji, 26 years old, was executed by lethal injection at Bang Kwang Central Prison between 3 and 6pm on 18 June 2018. While the execution was announced to the public later on 18 June by the Director General of the Department of Corrections of Thailand, Theerasak Longji’s family told a national media outlet that they had not been notified in advance of the scheduled execution and were not given the chance of a last visit with their relative.
Theerasak Longji was only allowed one phone call with his wife shortly before the execution was carried out. He was convicted of and sentenced to death for the murder of a 17 year old boy in July 2012.
Amnesty International has received information, which it has not yet been able to independently verify, suggesting that several other prisoners have had their applications for royal pardon rejected and therefore may be at imminent risk of execution. Figures provided to the organization by the Ministry of Justice in March 2018 indicated that 193 out of 510 death-row prisoners had their sentences finalized, including 108 convicted of murder and 85 of drug related offences.
The resumption of executions in Thailand sets the country against the global trend towards abolition of the death penalty and represents a major setback for the country’s human rights record. The Thai authorities committed to abolish the death penalty in the Third National Human Rights Action plan, due to be implemented by the end of 2018. They also accepted recommendations made at the country’s UN Universal Periodic Review in May 2016 to review the imposition of the death penalty for offences related to drug trafficking, commute death sentences and take steps towards abolishing the death penalty.
Send an email to the Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayut Chan-o-cha and Minister of Justice, Prajin Juntong to help in abolishing the death penalty in Thailand.