May 19, 2017
On 19 May 2017, Ms Sirikan Charoensiri, human rights lawyer at Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), received the Lawyers for Lawyers Award in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The prize is awarded to a lawyer/group of lawyers who had been threatened or suppressed as a result of their working to promote the rule of law and human rights. Lawyers for Lawyers, an independent non-political Dutch foundation, first introduced the biennial award in 2011. The foundation works to protect the rule of law, and freedom and independence of the legal profession, through providing moral, financial and legal support for lawyers who are facing prosecution on the course of their work. Their aim is to conform with international law and standards, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers and the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.
In 2017, lawyer Sirikan is selected among the shortlisted nominated 18 lawyers and organisations from all over the world for her courage and dedication to providing legal service to her clients, and to raise awareness of human rights situation in Thailand, unknown to the West. The Award was presented to her at the end of the seminar “The Voice of Rights” on harassment and threats against lawyers and freedom of expression in countries including Colombia, Turkey, United Kingdom and Thailand. Iyad Alami, a Palestinian lawyer, and Dr. Mohamed al-Roken from the United Arab Emirates were as well mentioned as the jury’s short list during the presentation of the Award.
For the occasion, Sirikan had been invited to deliver an acceptance speech regarding the ongoing human rights violation in Thailand after the 2014 coup and the important role of human rights lawyers during this critical time. Sirikan also extended her gratitude to those fighting for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law under the military regime.