On May 17th, 2016 Thailand’s Department of Special Investigations (DSI) issued an arrest warrant for Ven. Dhammajayo, the abbot of Thailand’s largest buddhist temple. This warrant is grounded on the abbot not appearing for a summons in a controversial case in which many people say he is wrongfully accused. However, the abbot did not ignore the summons but simply requested that DSI interview the abbot at the temple due to doctor verified life-threatening medical illnesses, a basic human right in which he was refused. Because DSI has ignored the rights of ill defendants for reasonable accommodation, we believe the Thai DSI has acted unlawfully and in gross violation of patient and human rights. We respectfully request the White House to look into this issue and condemn this violation.
Response to Petition
Thank you for taking the time to sign a We the People petition regarding the Abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya.
The President has made clear that our nation's commitment to respecting and promoting human rights does not stop on our shores. In an address to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations earlier this year, the President stressed the importance of this fundamental principle:
"The United States will continue to stand with those across Southeast Asia who are working to advance rule of law, good governance, accountable institutions and the universal human rights of all people.
Across the region, we'll continue to stand with citizens and civil society and defend their freedom of speech, of assembly and of the press. No one, including those in political opposition, should ever be detained or imprisoned simply for speaking their mind. That only stymies progress, only makes it harder for countries to truly thrive and prosper."
The State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok continue to promote freedom of religion or belief throughout Thailand and emphasize the importance of respecting the human rights of all persons. The State Department is aware of this matter and is following its developments. We cannot, however, comment here on the specific ongoing matter raised in your petition.
We encourage you to continue to use the We the People platform to petition the Administration to take action on the policy issues you care about. You can read the full Terms of Participation to get a better sense of why We the People is designed the way it is, and to learn more about its guidelines for use.
-- The We the People Team