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

 


Thailand: CrCF Released Statement On Somyot Prueksakasemsuk


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AHRC-FST-012-2013
January 28, 2013
A Statement from Cross Culture foundation (CrCF) forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

Thailand: CrCF Released Statement On The Conviction Of Mr. Somyot Prueksakasemsuk

Thai
Press Statement
On the Conviction of Mr. Somyot Prueksakasemsuk

The Bangkok Criminal Court read a verdict on the Black Case no. O1952/2554 on 23 January 2013 between the public prosecutors v Mr. Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, a defendant in an offence against the Penal Code's Article 112 (lèse majesté). Mr. Somyot was accused of publishing, distributing and disseminating "Khom Kwam Kid" column authored by "Jitra Phonchan" and another article "'Bloody Plan, Shooting over the Head of the Seniors" in the Voice of Taksin. Both were deemed by the Court as being defamatory, insulting, or threatening to the King. That the defendant published, distributed and disseminated the articles was tantamount to an act to defame, insult, or threaten the King, an offence as per Article 112 of the Penal Code. He was therefore convicted to imprisonments on two counts, each for five years, plus another one year in a libel suit, the Red Case no. O1078/2552, altogether 11 years.

The Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) is concerned about the enforcement of the Penal Code's Article 112 which directly impacts the exercise of the right to freedom of expression, a fundamental right guaranteed in any democracies. We therefore have the following demands to make;

1. While the case is pending in the Court, Mr. Somyot Prueksakasemsuk and other defendants or alleged offenders in lèse majesté cases should be granted temporary release immediately as they are considered prisoners of conscience and political prisoners. In addition, it is essentially held in criminal justice that a defendant be presumed innocent unless until the final verdict is reached. In order to uphold the principle, the defendants should be granted bail. That a person is subjected to being held in custody for a lengthy period of time is tantamount to having the person convicted prior to the trial. Such an act is in breach of the justice process provided for by the Constitution.

2. The government should make an attempt to have the Penal Code's Article 112 amended making it become more appropriate and proportionate to a democratic system and in compliance with Thailand's international obligation regarding Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). In particular, the penalties should be adjusted to make them reflect genuine severity of the offence. The preservation of the monarchy cannot be made possible by the enforcement of draconian and undemocratic law. Also, the power to report a lèse majesté case should not lie with any individual as currently prescribed for since it paves the way for the misuse of Article 112 as a tool to silence any political dissent.

3. The Court is urged to adjudicate in compliance with the rule of law and impartiality. The enforcement of law based on respect of constitutional rights to freedom shall help to minimize impact of any unjust laws. On the contrary, if the enforcement of law is made without any principle, even though the law is fair enough, it shall not enable justice in society.

In order to help solve conflicts in society, it is therefore vitally important that the judges perform their duties in compliance with the rule of law and based on impartiality. In so doing, they shall be able to help the nation wade through any crises and become a sustainable democracy in future.

---------------------------------------------------------------

# # #
About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

Visit our new website with more features at www.humanrights.asia.

You can make a difference. Please support our work and make a donation here.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Ban Condemns Killing Of Former Lesotho Military Commander

United Nations Secretary-General today condemned the killing of Lt. Gen. Maaparankoe Mahao, former Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, on 25 June, near Maseru. More>>

Ban Welcomes US Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage

Ban welcomes US Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing right to same-sex marriage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) pride march. Photo: OHCHR/Joseph Smida More>>

UN Agency Welcomes EU Measures On Refugee Arrivals

Afghan refugees in front of the abandoned hotel Captain Elias on Kos Island, Greece, where hundreds of refugees and migrants are waiting for their registration. Photo: UNHCR/J. Akkash More>>

Increase In Voluntary Blood Donors Can Save Millions Of Lives

Increase in voluntary blood donors can save millions of lives, UN health agency says on World Day More>>

Kenya: Funding Shortage Means Food Cut To 500,000 Refugees

Funding shortage forces UN agency to temporarily cut food aid to 500,000 refugees in Kenya More>>

UN Launches Education Appeal In Fight Against Child Labour

12 June 2015 – The United Nations has announced it is marking the 2015 edition of the World Day Against Child Labour with a call for the international community to invest in quality education as a key step in the fight against child employment ... More>>

Pope Francis & UN Agency On Sustainability Of Agriculture

Pope Francis (centre) with delegates to the 39th FAO Conference during a special audience at the Vatican. Photo: FAO More>>

South Sudan: Call For De-Escalation Of In-Country Conflict

Women and children have suffered devastating attacks in South Sudan’s Unity State. Photo: UNICEF/South Sudan/Sebastian Rich More>>

Burundi: Emergency Support To Refugees Fleeing Burundi Crisis

Burundians fleeing pre-election violence rest on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a gruelling 22-hour boat journey. More than 100,000 Burundians have fled over the past month, arriving in Tanzania, Rwanda and ... More>>

Afghanistan: Commitment To Advancing Women's Rights

While the outgoing senior United Nations rights official in Afghanistan said she expected the human rights advances made “will be sustained, will not be rolled back, and will not be sacrificed,” she lamented the high level of violence against ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news