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Cambodian Genten fon Hurnan Rigfits


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Her Excellency Yingluck Shinarvatra Prime Minister of the Royal Thai Government of tlie I(ngdom of Thailand Offiqe of the Prime Minister
Government House Thanon Phitsanulok, Dlrsit Bangkok I0300, Thailand
24 April 2013

Letter to l'hai Prirne Minister Yinglucl< Shinawatra concerning the continual shooting to death of Cambodian civilians in Thai territory and the lack of any investigation
Your Excellency Ms Yingh-rck Shinawatra,
The Cambodian Cerrter lor Huuran Rrghts ("CCHR") expresses its deep concern regarding the

continlral shooting of Cambodian civilians in Thar territory - which have car.rsed countless deaths and selious injuries. 2012 saw a startling increase in the nurnber of recorcled attacks: the Thai-Calttbodian Border Relation Oflice reports that 45 Carnbodian civilians were shot dead by the Royal Thai Arrny in Tliai territory during 2012 - a threefold increase on 2011 (15 deaths). Six Can-rbodians have reportedly so far been killed during 2013, with several others seriously injr.rred or still nissing.
The shooting of Canbodian civilians lesr-rlting in cleath or serious boclily harm constitntes an unlawlul act and a grave violation of the r,ictirls' hnman rights. Thailand is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (the "ICCPR"), to whrch it acceded on 29 October 1996, and is thelefore legalLy bound by its provisions. Article 6 of the ICCPR guarantees tl-re right to lile, rvhile Article 7 stipulates that no one shall be sr"rbjected to tortr-rre or cruei, inhuman or degraciing treatment or punishment. Article 4 states that no derogatiotrs flom Articles 6 and 7 are peniritted. Furthennore, Article 2 ob[ges siguatories to respect and ensnre the rights recognized in the ICCPR to all individuals u,ithin its territory and sr"rbiect to

rvhich include Cambodian civilians ri'ho find tl'rer.nselves in Thai territory, u,hether legally or illegally. Thailand is also a party to lhe Convention Against Tortr-rle and Other Cruel, It.thLturau or Deglading freatrrent ol Pr-urishrrent, Article I olrvhich defines the act of torture, and Article 2 of lvhich states that torture cannot be jr-rstified r.rnder any circumstances. The shooting of Cambodiln civilians violrtes all of these rights rvhich Thailand has officially approved and to r','hich it is legally bor,rnd.

its jurisdictron

CCHR notes - as pel the Thai Code of Crirhinal Procednre as well as international standards - that the use of lethal folce and firealms is justified only when used against a real, imrninent aud grave thleat oldeath or serious injuly, or to prevent the commission of particularly grave

crimes involving suchttlueats, or to arrest a persou presenting snch grave clanger - in other in self-defense. In addition, the use of lethal force can only be used as a measure of last resort and must be proportional to legitinate objectives. CCHR argues that since the casLralties n'e nnamed civilians u,ho fincl themselves in l-hai terr-itory lvhrle logging, arrd lvho

Address: House No. 798, St.99, Sangkat Boeung Trabek, Khan Chamkarmorl, P.O.Box 1506 , Phnom Penh, Cambodia,
Tel: 023 726 901 , Fax: 023 726 902, E-mail: / Website:

imtlinent threat to anyone, such actions cannot be jr"rstified as selt-defense as they are no less than extra-judicial and arbitrary acts of murder, nor can they be deemed a n-teasure ol last resort or remotely proportional.
in no
r.vay pose a real and

enforcement authorities or the National Human Rights Con-rmission of Thailand taking any steps to investigate these rlurders and atterrpted murders ol Camboclian citizerrs. Such inaction not or-rly constitutes a serious vioiation of the dnty to investigate human lights abr"rses, but also indicates a cornplete lack'of accountability on the part ol the perpetrators if lefi r-rnpunished. In fact, such total impunity rrnst be a key contribr,rtory factol in the contirruing perpetration oltl-rese illegal and heinoLrs crimes. As a victim of the lepressive I(hurer Rouge regime of the late 1970s, I fled Cambodia along u,itl'r the sun,iving meurbers o1-my l'amily and spent vears in relr.tgee calrps in Thailand. Having successlLrlly soLrght lefuge in Thailand, I find it all the n-role distlessing to see Cambodians being liilled in Thailand u'ith such impunity in the trventy-first ccr.rtury.

CCHR has thus lar not fbund any evidence of either the Thar

It is theletbre incnmbent ttpon the Ro;,al Thai Governtlent - ar-rd indecd the Nationrl Hurnan Rights Conrnission ol Thailand - to conduct a tholongh, prornpt and impartial investigation olall shootings olCambodian civilians and of all sr.rspected cases of extra-judicial or arbitraly killings in Thai territory. The investigation needs to be tliorough, effective, independent, prompt and erpeditious, and the proper judicial procedures need to be followed, in order to show that Thailand is upholding the rLtle of law aud that jLrstice in Thailand means rnore than just presen,ing the irrterest olthe stronger. Its outcomc should be srrbject to public scnrtint', and casualties, theil laurilies anci representatives shoulcl be kept inlbnred ol tlte investigative process ancl its outcorrc. irinally, in lLrtLrle. an1, Cambodians caLrght logging on either sicle of the ill-definecl l'hai-Car.nbodiarr borcler sirould be arresteil and tlied in a ploper coult ol lau, rathcr than execr.rted on the spot.
lights abrrses irave be en ongoing for a number ol Vears nor,v, but seetr to ltave deterioratecl rapidly in recent tin.res. Ilor"'et,eL, CCHII hopes that, in this period ol closer Thai-Cambodian relations, this issue - as rvell as the connected border dispute - can be resolved peacefr.rlly and in line rvith internatior-ral larv ancl human rights principles. The overall result would be stronger political. econornic and social ties between the trvo counh'ies.
Sr,tch hun.ran


R Pres

(o) I 140 405 E-mail: o Lrruali(tgsLusaubtlu.glg


CC: The Nalional I-lulnan llights Con.rmissiou of Thailancl Ambassador ol Thailand in Calnbodia H.E. Mr Touchayoot Pakdi Sarnclech lecho l-lun Sen, Prin, e Minister ol the I(ingdom of Cambodia
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H.E. Hor Naurhong, Minister ol Foreign Affairs of the Kingclorn ol Cambodia H.E. Dl Om Yentieug, I'r'esident of the Cambodian Hr.unan Rights Comrnittee The UN Special Rapporteur or-r Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions