The Prachachat Party is seeking to expunge "erroneous criminal records" affecting some groups of people, especially those in the deep South.
Kamonsak Leewamoh, the party spokesman and MP for Narathiwat, said the move was one of two human rights-related issues the party is championing. The other is to encourage the scrapping of the emergency decree imposed in most of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat.
With the Justice Ministry now under the stewardship of the party leader, Pol Col Tawee Sodsong, it presented a good opportunity for the party to pursue justice-related policies, said Mr Kamonsak, who is chairman of the parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs.
He said the party has vowed to delete names wrongly included in the criminal records database, using its previous work with people with false records and other research on human rights violations as references. The move was aimed at protecting the rights of people, not only in the southernmost region but nationwide.
“As a member of the committee, we studied this topic for a long time. It is now up to the party to find a way to remove measures that might cause deleting names from the records to be delayed,” said Mr Kamonsak.
Prachachat, which has a strong voter base in the southernmost region, has received many reports regarding locals affected by having an erroneous criminal history, which led to the party including the issue as one of its campaign policies.
According to Mr Kamonsak, people with records that were erroneous, especially those in the southernmost region, include those with non-prosecution orders or those whose cases were thrown out by a court.
Having a criminal record leads to many hardships in any activity that needs legal verification, such as travelling abroad or job applications, he said.
Erroneous records directly affect someone’s rights. One person who has such a record said he felt violated by the immigration police just because he had a non-prosecution order from a court back in 2015.
Many sectors have attempted to resolve the issue, including the Royal Thai Police, which removed about 10 million innocent people from its criminal database from April to June.
However, one security official in the deep South said it is hard to improve the system overall. In fact, they have to solve issues case by case, as they do not have a list of people with erroneousrecords available to them.