Thailand’s Supreme Court confirms sentence against human rights defender Chiranuch Premchaiporn

January 11, 2016

 

Frontline NEWlogo-2 full version - cropped

reports that on 23 December 2015, the Supreme Court confirmed the 2012 sentencing of human rights defender Ms Chiranuch Premchaiporn to eight months’ imprisonment, suspended for one year, and a fine of 20,000 baht, for failing to delete allegedly offensive comments about the Thai monarchy, which had been posted on the now-defunct Prachatai web forum.

Chiranuch Premchaiporn [https://frontlinedefenders.org/ChiranuchPremchaiporn] is executive director of Prachatai, an independent news website that reports on human rights, social and political issues in Thailand and Southeast Asia. She was the webmaster of the now defunct Prachatai web board which was set up to promote the exchange of information and opinion on Thai political and social issues. Chiranuch Premchaiporn was the recipient of the International Women’s Media Foundation Courage in Journalism Award in May 2011 and the Human Rights Watch Hellman/Hammet Award in September 2011.

The Supreme Court ruling confirmed the verdicts of the Court of Appeals and the Court of First Instance, which were made against the human rights defender in November 2013 and May 2012 respectively. Chiranuch Premchaiporn was convicted under Article 15 of the 2007 Computer Crime Act (CCA) for allowing the alleged offensive comments to remain on the Prachatai web forum for 20 days. Article 15 of the CCA states that any service provider intentionally supporting or consenting to the importation of illegal computer content, as provided for in Article 14 of the CCA, shall be subjected to the same penalty as that imposed upon a person committing an offence under Article 14.

Front Line Defenders expresses concern at the decision of the Supreme Court to confirm the sentence against Chiranuch Premchaiporn, and thus to continue the use of the Computer Crime Act to silence and intimidate human rights defenders in Thailand. Front Line Defenders fears for the potential chilling effect of the decision on the exercise of freedom of expression in Thailand, and the restrictive effect of this on the work of human rights defenders.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: