December 14, 2017
December 14, 2017
September 21, 2017
Addressing the UN Human Rights Council, the ICJ today urged Thailand to end criminal proceedings against lawyer Sirikan “June” Charoensiri, that are based on her professional activities as a human rights defender and lawyer.
The statement came during general debate at the Human Rights Council on, among other things, the report compiling cases of individual complaints that have been raised by the Special Procedures (independent experts) appointed by the Council. The statement read as follows:
“Among the many cases covered by the Communications Report of Special Procedures (A/HRC/36/25) is that of Thailand lawyer and human rights defender, Sirikan “June” Charoensiri. She was charged with sedition and other offences for actions taken, in her professional role, to protect human rights. With other lawyers, she had observed and provided legal assistance to participants in a peaceful protest.
In April, four Special Rapporteurs sent a joint communication (AL THA 2/2017) to Thailand about her case, and the related issues of restrictions on fundamental freedoms put in place following the military coup of May 2014, and prosecution of civilians in military courts.
Thailand’s response to the communication (No.52101/483) attempts to justify the charges against her by, among other things, appearing to associate her with the persons to which she and her colleagues were providing legal aid.
Principle 18 of the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers states that, “lawyers shall not be identified with their clients or their clients’ causes as a result of discharging their functions.”
The International Commission of Jurists considers that the case against Ms Charoensiri is incompatible with these and other international human rights standards.
September 18, 2017
Thai Human rights lawyer, Prawet Prapanukul, charged with lese majeste and other offences has told the court he did not accept the Thai judicial system and forfeited his right to examine witnesses and evidence against him.
Prawet Prapanukul, 57, was charged with lese majeste and sedition, as well as breaking the computer crime law for posting and sharing Facebook. He was also charged with disobeying the junta’s order when he refused to give a fingerprint. The offences allegedly took place from Jan 25 to April 23 this year.
The Facebook under his real name has 2,574 followers and 4,769 friends.
Mr Prawet has been jailed since he was first detained on May 3 by the Criminal Court’s order.
He was brought to the court on Monday for an indictment to which he pleaded not guilty. He also told the court he would like to dismiss his lawyers.
Mr Prawet also told the court he did not accept the Thai judicial system and did not wish to examine witnesses and evidence against him.
The prosecution told the court they have 11 witnesses and some evidence including website examiners and his Facebook posts.
The court scheduled a hearing of the prosecution witnesses on May 8 next year.
Prawet was a legal representation for at least 2 Lese Majeste defendants. Prawet also actively expressed his political view on his facebook account. He was arrested by the military on 29 April 2017 and had been placed under military custody. Until 3 May 2017, Prawet was brought to the Criminal Court where the police filed a petition before the court to remand him in custody. The Court denied his request for bail.
As a lawyer, Prawate has represented clients accused of violating Article 112 (lese-majeste) in at least two cases, those of Da Torpedo and “Jakkrawut”. He once took a credit company to court for loaning money to villagers at high interest rates in breach of the law. Prawate is also known for regularly sharing his political views on Facebook.
Prawet was a legal representation for at least 2 Lese Majeste defendants. Prawet also actively expressed his political view on his facebook account. He was arrested by the military on 29 April 2017 and had been placed under military custody. The Court demied his request for bail
He was prosecuted with ten counts of violating Section 112 and three counts of violating Section 116, due to 13 offending Facebook statuses. He is now still detained in prison and declared to object the court’s jurisdiction over his case.
Next schedule of his trial is on 18 September 2017 at Criminal Court
(ILaw English Facebook)
August 21, 2017
(Scholars at Risk Facebook)
August 15, 2017
A Thai student activist was jailed for two and a half years on Tuesday for posting on Facebook a BBC article deemed offensive to Thailand’s king, his lawyer said.
Jatupat Boonpattaraksa, also known as Pai, an activist and critic of the ruling junta, was the first person to be charged with royal insult, known as lese-majeste, after new King Maha Vajiralongkorn formally ascended the throne on December 1, following the death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Jatupat, a former law student, was arrested on December 3 and charged for posting a BBC Thai language profile of the king which some deemed offensive.
He was also charged with violating a computer crime law for posting a link to the BBC report, which was shared by more than 2,000 people.
He pleaded guilty to the charges against him earlier on Tuesday, prompting the court to bring forward its verdict.
“The court sentenced Pai to five years in prison, reduced to two and a half years,” Kissandang Nutcharat, Jatupat’s lawyer, told Reuters.
August 9, 2017
On 2 August 2017, human rights lawyer Sirikan Charoensiri was informed of charges pressed against her for allegedly submitting a false report to the police under Sections 172 and 174 of the Thai Criminal Code. In total, Sirikan Charoensiri is currently facing three different legal proceedings, all linked to her work as a human rights lawyer, and which could carry up to 15 years’ imprisonment.
Sirikan Charoensiri is a human rights lawyer who works with Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), where she provides legal services in high-profile human rights cases on a pro bono basis. She is one of the legal representatives of the 14 student activists from the New Democracy Movement (NDM), who were arrested on 26 June 2015 after staging peaceful protests to mark the first anniversary of the military coup, which took place in May 2014. In April 2017, she was the first woman to receive the Lawyers for Lawyers Award from the eponymous Dutch civil society group.
On 2 August 2017, Sirikan Charoensiri reported to the Chanasongkram police station in Bangkok and was informed that she was charged with allegedly submitting a false report to the police in violation of Sections 172 and 174 of the Thai Criminal Code. These charges, which Sirikan Charoensiri denies, were filed against her after she submitted a complaint of malfeasance in office against the Commander of the Metropolitan Police Bureau 6, and other police officers for illegally impounding her car on 27 June 2015. On that day, police seized Sirikan Charoensiri’s vehicle without a warrant in order to confiscate the mobile phones of the members of the New Democracy Movement, which were in the car. The defender declared that she would submit a written statement before 30 September 2017. The charges carry a penalty of up to 5 years in jail.
Earlier that day, the public prosecutor of Dusit District Prosecutor Office rescheduled the reading of the indictment decision in a separate case against Sirikan Charoensiri. The hearing was postponed to 20 November 2017 at 09:30. A case file was registered against the human rights lawyer in May 2016 under Sections 142 and 368 of the Thai Criminal Code for concealing evidence and refusing to comply with official orders, respectively.