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

 

'Very Concerned' After Court Ruling: UNHRC On Transfer Of 267 People From Australia To Nauru

Most of these people were reportedly brought to Australia from Nauru to receive medical treatment and are in a fragile physical and mental state. The group includes more than 12 women and at least one child who have allegedly suffered sexual assault or harassment while in Nauru. The group also includes 37 children born in Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Sanctions To Be Lifted: NZ Welcomes Implementation Of Iran Nuclear Deal

Duty Minister Nikki Kaye has welcomed the next stage in the historic nuclear deal between Iran, the Five Permanent (P5) members of the United Nations Security Council, and Germany... “New Zealand has now started the domestic process for removing the UN sanctions." More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Davos Reports: 62 People Own Same Wealth As Half The World

Runaway inequality has created a world where 62 people own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population – a figure that has fallen from 388 just five years ago, according to an Oxfam report published today ahead of the annual gathering of the world’s financial and political elites in Davos.. More>>

ALSO:

Jakarta: UN Secretary-General On Attacks

The Secretary-General condemns the bombings and gun attacks in Jakarta today... there is absolutely no justification for such acts of terrorism. He hopes the perpetrators of today's attacks will be swiftly brought to justice. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: America, The Gated

How, in a global metropolis like New York, do you write about immigration as a problem to be solved? And yet immigration is a hot button issue among those fighting to break away from the unruly clump of starters in the race for Republican nominee. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news