Posts Tagged ‘lese majeste’

Thai Human Rights Defender ‘Pai Dao Din’ jailed for 2-and-a-half years on lese majeste charge

August 16, 2017

On 15 August 2017, Jatupat Boonpattararaksa received a two and a half years jail sentence after pleading guilty to violating the lèse majesté law. The human rights defender – also known as Pai Dao Din – has been detained since 3 December 2016 in connection with his sharing of a BBC article on the life of King Vajiralongkorn on social media. Pai Dao Din, is leader of a student activist group called Dao Din based in Khon Kaen University. (https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/jatupat-boonpattararaksa). The group advocates for community rights, social justice and democracy. He is also a member of New Democracy Movement (NDM), which opposes the military dictatorship in Thailand, a regime in place since the coup d’etat in May 2014. In May 2017, Jatupat Boonpattararaksa  was awarded the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights [https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2017/05/10/gwangju-award-for-human-rights-defender-pai-dao-din-upsets-thai-government/]The defender was originally sentenced to five years in jail, however this sentence was reduced after he pleaded guilty to sharing material deemed insulting towards the country’s monarchy.

{While authorities did not file charges or even a complaint against the London-based BBC for publishing the article, only Jatupat was arrested. His bail requests were consistently rejected as authorities regarded lèse majesté as a serious charge possibly entailing severe punishment. Domestic and international campaigns over recent months have failed to free him on bail. Prior to the court judgment, Jatupat, who had maintained his innocence for months, agreed to plead guilty after consulting with his family and legal team to get a more lenient sentence.}

 “It appears that Jatupat was singled out, from thousands of people who shared the BBC article, and prosecuted for his strong opposition to military rule rather than any harm incurred by the monarchy,” said Brad Adams, Asia Director at Human Rights Watch. “His guilty verdict and jail sentence show yet again how Thailand’s draconian ‘insulting the monarchy’ law has been misused to punish dissenters.

Source: Activist ‘Pai Dao Din’ jailed for 2-and-a-half years on BBC Thai article lese majeste charge

Gwangju award for human rights defender Pai Dao Din upsets Thai government

May 10, 2017

The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs gets upset easily as shown by the reaction to the granting of the 2017 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights (South Korea) to detained student activist Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, better known as Pai Dao Din. He has been in prison in Khon Kaen on lese majeste and computer crime charges since 22 December 2015, when 10 Khon Kaen University’s students from “Dao Din” group were arrested at the Khon Kaen Democracy Monument.

Pai Dao Din a day after the Khon Kaen court denied him bail again (FB/Jom Petchpradab)
Now the Thai ambassador to Seoul has written to the human rights award giver in South Korea asking it to ‘reconsider ‘ honouring jailed activist Jatupat Boonpattararaksa.

In a copy of the letter was acquired by the Bangkok Post (copy below):

The detained defender had been hoping to make bail so he could attend the award presentation ceremony in person, but his request was denied. In refusing Mr Jatupat’s bail requests, the Region 4 court and Khon Kaen Provincial Court described him as a flight risk who could tamper with evidence. The laureate is thus unlikely to be abel to travel on 18 May to the award ceremony in Gwangju and Mr Jatupat’s mother Prim Boonpattararaksa and her husband Viboon will represent their son and receive the award on his behalf.

National Human Rights commissioner Angkhana Neelapaijit, who won the Gwangju Award for Human Rights in 2006, described it as a prestigious accolade.

Source: Envoy queries Korea award for Jatupat | Bangkok Post: news

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.

 

 

Thai government concedes there are problems as raised by the UN special rapporteur

May 24, 2013

The Bangkok Post of 24 May 2013 contains a nice little item that should give heart to those who work on UN special procedures and of wonder about the impact of all this advocacy work: It seems that Thailand has conceded a bit on issues raised by a UN special rapporteurs regarding freedom of expression and migrant labour, and to the fatal harassment of human rights defenders.The ‘admission’ is in a document included in 108 pages of communications involving special rapporteurs of the United Nations recently made available ahead of the 23rd session of the UN Human Rights Council.

via Thai government concedes abuses raised by a UN special rapporteur as abuses of human rights | Bangkok Post: news.