THA 004 / 1118 / OBS 135
November 16, 2018
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Thailand.
Description of the situation:
The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the judicial harassment of Mr. Anon Nampa, a human rights lawyer working with Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR)  since 2014. Mr. Anon is the lawyer of Mr. Thanakorn Siriphaiboon, who has been charged with violating Article 112 of the Criminal Code (lèse-majesté), Article 116 of the Criminal Code (sedition), and the 2007 Computer Crimes Act for having shared information about alleged corruption in the construction of the Rajabhakti Park , and for having ‘liked’ a Facebook post deemed insulting to King Rama IX’s dog.
According to the information received, on October 2, 2018, the Bangkok Military Court issued a summons dated September 25, 2018 for Mr. Anon to be investigated for disseminating on the TLHR website a statement  from a prosecution witness, Pol. Maj. Gen. Wijarn Jodtaeng, without the permission of the same military court in relation to Mr. Thanakorn’s case. If convicted under Article 30 of the Civil Procedure Code (‘contempt of court’), Mr. Anon could face up to six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine of 500 Bahts (approximately 13,50 Euros).
On October 3, 2018, the Bangkok Military Court argued that the public dissemination of the testimony could negatively impact the case and asked Mr. Anon to ask TLHR to delete the content published on their website within 24 hours. The Court also banned any other individual or organisation from publishing witness testimonies related to the case in the media, and indicated that this would be considered contempt of court.
On October 4, 2018, Mr. Anon submitted a motion to revoke the Bangkok Military Court’s order, arguing that Mr. Thanakorn’s trial should be conducted publicly, as provided for under Article 172 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the 2017 Constitution, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Mr. Anon added that TLHR’s publication did not distort the military officer’s testimony and did not directly disseminate any military court documents.
On October 5, 2018, the Bangkok Military Court dismissed the motion arguing that the case was still pending, and that publishing the witness testimonies could have a negative influence on society.
On October 8, 2018, Mr. Anon submitted an appeal to the Bangkok Military Court’s decision from October 5, on the grounds that the dismissed motion order had violated Mr. Thanakorn’s right to a fair trial and the performance of his duties as a lawyer.
Mr. Anon dedicates his efforts to providing legal aid to those facing politically motivated charges. He is facing another 10 legal cases against him  (among others for sedition under Article 116 of the Criminal Code and insulting a court under Article 198 of the Criminal Code). Three of the cases have concluded, while eight are still ongoing. Two cases are being tried in military court for violations of National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Order 3/2015.
The Observatory condemns the judicial harassment of Mr. Anon and considers that this investigation over the dissemination of a witness’ testimony is emblematic of the violations of the right to a fair trial of the accused and of the continuous judicial harassment of human rights lawyers in Thailand.