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

 

Israel’s Demolition Of Palestinian Homes

Makarim Wibisono, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories. UN Photo/Violaine Martin More>>

ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Israeli Settlers Continue Their Attacks against Palestinians
  • Tribespeople Call On WWF To Stop Funding Abuse

    This Baka man from Ndongo village reported that he was severely beaten by anti-poaching squads on two occasions. His neighbors have appealed to WWF to stop funding such abuses. More>>

    Ebola: UN Crisis Response Mission Opens New Office In Mali

    Workers build an enclosure at the Mayagba Ebola community care centre construction site in Bombali District, which is among the areas worst affected by the disease in Sierra Leone. Photo: UNICEF/John James More>>

    ALSO:

    UNESCO Chief Denounces Murder Of Somali Radio Journalist

    Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz More>>

    Palestinian Refugees From Syria Face Worsening Situation

    Palestinian women at a UNRWA distribution centre in the Jaramana refugee camp, Damascus, Syria. Photo: UNRWA/Carole Alfarah More>>

    ALSO:

    Greece Risks Prolonged Social Crisis

    Greece’s severe financial crisis has bred social unrest and intolerance of the nearly one million irregular migrants living in the country (October 2012). Photo: IRIN/Kristy Siegfried More>>

    Madagascar: Warning Of ‘rapid’ Spread Of Plague In Capital

    Ny Hantra Andriatsifasoa survived the bubonic plague after being infected in Madagascar in 2011. Photo: IRIN/Tiana Randriaharimalala More>>

    New Bird Flu Strain In Europe Threatens Poultry Sector

    24 November 2014 – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization ( FAO ) today warned that a new bird flu strain detected in Europe poses a significant threat to the poultry sector, especially in low-resourced countries situated along ... More>>


    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news