World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Conviction Of Thai Editor Undermines Freedom Of Expression


Conviction Of Thai Editor Undermines Freedom Of Expression: Pillay

GENEVA (23 January 2013) - The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay expressed Wednesday her deep concern about the verdict and extremely harsh sentencing of the editor and prominent activist Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, adding that this represents a setback for the protection and promotion of human rights in Thailand.

Somyot was convicted of lese-majesty offences for publishing two articles, which were considered as critical of the Monarchy, in his Voice of Takshin magazine. Earlier today, he was sentenced to 11 years in prison for the breach of Article 112 of the Criminal Code, which states that “whoever, defames, insults or threatens the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent, shall be punished with imprisonment of three to fifteen years.”

“The conviction and extremely harsh sentencing of Somyot sends the wrong signals on freedom of expression in Thailand. The court's decision is the latest indication of a disturbing trend in which lese-majesty charges are used for political purposes,” Pillay said.

“I welcome and support the efforts made by some parliamentarians and academics to propose amendments to article 112 in order to address concerns related to the application of the law,” she said.

The High Commissioner also expressed concern over the length of Somyot’s pre-trial detention, whose bail requests were denied 12 times by the courts. “I am disturbed that Somyot has been denied bail and presented in court on several occasions wearing shackles - as if he were some kind of dangerous criminal,” the High Commissioner said. “People exercising freedom of expression should not be punished in the first place,” Pillay said.

On 30 August 2012, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concluded that Somyot's detention was arbitrary and requested the Government of Thailand to take all necessary steps to “release Somyot Pruksakasemsuk and accord him an enforceable right to compensation” in accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Thailand is a party.*

“Activists, journalists and academics play a dynamic role in fostering Thailand’s human rights culture,” Pillay said. “This reflects positively on Thai society, but cases such as Somyot’s risk reversing the important progress made by Thailand.”
--
*To find the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s opinion go to: http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G12/183/84/PDF/G1218384.pdf?OpenElement


My voice, my right, my voice counts – Watch the Human Rights Day’s video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCnLOpUW7tY&feature=share&list=UU3L8u5qG07djPUwWo6VQVLA

UN Human Rights, follow us on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unitednationshumanrights
Twitter:
http://twitter.com/UNrightswire
Google+ gplus.to/unitednationshumanrights
YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/UNOHCHR
Storify: http://storify.com/UNrightswire

Check the Universal Human Rights Index: http://uhri.ohchr.org/en

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Aftermath Of Brexit

Be careful of what you ask for. Now that it has woken up from its Brexit victory hangover, is Britain acting as if it has just won the World Cup? Hardly. More>>

ALSO:

UK Labour Statement: The Shooting Of MP Jo Cox

Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party said: “The whole of the Labour Party and Labour family - and indeed the whole country - will be in shock at the horrific murder of Jo Cox today. Jo had a lifelong record of public service and a deep commitment to humanity." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Rainbow Colours On MFC In Sympathy For Florida Killings
Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre will be lit in colours of the rainbow Monday as a gesture of support for the LGBTI victims of the Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando, Florida. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On How Obama’s Supreme Court Choice Says Everything (Bad) About His Presidency

Nothing has epitomised the presidency of Barack Obama quite like his Supreme Court nominees. Time and again, Republican presidents will blithely nominate right wing ideological extremists (Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas) who only sometimes misfire and turn out to be liberals in disguise (David Souter). Yet Obama has consistently skipped over the judicially qualified liberals and gone for a succession of centrists... More>>

ALSO:

Turkey: UN Secretary-General On The Terrorist Bombing In Ankara

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier today. According to the latest reports, the explosion in the Kizilay district killed and wounded dozens of people. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news