Non-secret operation: Media and the prevention of torture:
In commemoration of the UN’s International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
24 June 2015
9.30-12.30 at the Meeting room, 1st FL, Bangkok Art & Culture Centre
26 June 1984 was the day the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment was first adopted by UN country members. Thus, 26 June every year is celebrated by the UN and other countries as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture to encourage all sectors to participate in the campaign against torture and to highlight the importance of support to be given to the survivors and those affected by the act of torture. Thailand has become a state party to the UNCAT since 2007, eight years now.
Survivors of torture are everywhere in the world. A number documented and undocumented cases of the victims exist in Thailand. Many of the survivors dare not disclose the ordeal to anyone, even to their families. It takes a long time for some of them to get ready to recall the stories. Many have become terrified and suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), even though all physical wounds have been healed.
Until now, torture is no crime in many countries including Thailand. In Thailand, the law simply stipulates that testimonies or evidence acquired under duress or through the use of force against the suspects or alleged offenders are not admissible in the Court. There are no legal and practical measures in Thailand to combat torture, not to mention the lack of remedies, physically and mentally, to the survivors. The awareness of the issue is also rather restricted among human rights organizations, torture survivors, and their relatives, not in the wider public. Media tend to underreport the importance of the prevention of torture. Thus, an attempt to combat torture is still challenge and it warrants an effort to raise the awareness far and wide to help people understand its impacts on justice process and impacts befalling the survivors, their families and society. A number of Thai people are still not well aware of the severity of the act of torture and its effects to rule of law and to peaceful society for all.
In order to raise the awareness on the act of torture in a clearer and far-reaching manner and to encourage media to give more attention to the combat of torture, and to raise the awareness and the prevention and suppression of torture in Thailand, Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) with Amnesty International Thailand and the Faculty of information and Communication Technology, Silpakorn University wants to engender understanding in Thailand about the prevention of torture. A public discussion on “Media and the prevention of torture” is to be organized along with the screening of a short film, infographic, and special issue of magazine on “torture”, the latter of which is a periodical produced by students in collaboration with CrCF with funding support from Canada Fund. The event will happen on 24 June 2015, 9.30-12.30 at the multipurpose room, first floor, Bangkok Art & Culture Centre.
10.00 Opening Remarks by Ambassador of Canada, Excellency Philip Calvert
10.10 Screening of “Information Graphic”, two pieces and discussion with the production team
10.30 Screening of a short film “the Bandit” and a discussion with the director and the production team
10.50 Discussion about the Special edition Journal “Torture” by the production team of the Faculty of information and Communication Technology, Silpakorn University Silpakorn University
11.15 Public discussion on “Media and the prevention of torture” with speakers
- Ronnakorn Boonmee Law Faculty, Thammasat University
- Ekkalak Lumchomkae – Mirror Foundation
- Panjai Wohandee, Forensic Institute, Ministry of Justice
- Anusorn Tippyanon – Chiangmai University
Moderated by Yingcheep Atchanont, Manager of iLaw
12.30 Closing remark – Representative of Ministry of Justice