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

 

West Papua: “Lest We Forget”

AS Anzac approaches and Australians and New Zealanders remember those who fought and lost their lives on Anzac Day, it is hoped we will also remember the unfree people of the Pacific region and in particular those who are still suffering from human ... More>>

Iran: 81 Executions In One Week

Coincident with mass executions in the prisons of Ghezel-Hessar, Karaj and other cities, the anti-human regime of mullahs sent 16 other prisoners to the gallows in Mashhad and Birjand (northeastern Iran). Twelve of them were hanged collectively ... More>>

Al-Shabaab: Four Unicef Staff Killed In Somalia

Four UNICEF staff members have been killed in an attack on their vehicle in Garowe, Somalia. Four other UNICEF colleagues are in a serious condition. The IED (improvised explosive device) attack occurred when the staff were travelling from their guest ... More>>

UN: Suicide Attack In Jalalabad Condemned

NEW YORK/KABUL/GENEVA (18April 2015) – “I strongly condemn the brutal suicide attack that coincided with my visit to Jalalabad today,” said United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović during his visit to Afghanistan. ... More>>

Save The Children: STC Urges EU Leaders To Act To Prevent More Mass Drownings

Save the Children Urges EU Leaders to Act to Prevent More Mass Drownings at Sea. More>>

ALSO:

Japan: Independent Experts Slam Japan’s New Whaling Plan

Independent experts slam Japan’s new whaling plan and declare no more whales need to be killed for Antarctic research More>>

Gaza Strip: Attacks In The Border Areas

Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. The precise area designated by ... More>>

Australian Government: Iraq Deployment: Joint Press Conference, Canberra

Back in March, the Government announced that we were preparing a force for a Building Partner Capacity training mission in Iraq. I can inform you that today the Cabinet has decided to deploy that force. The deployment will start tomorrow and we expect ... More>>

UNHRC: UN Committee Against Torture To Review New Zealand

UN Committee against torture to review New Zealand, Congo, Romania, Luxembourg, Spain, Serbia, Colombia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia More>>

UNHRC: Nigeria: One Year On, Call To Bring Back Abducted Children

Nigeria: One year on, UN and African experts call for decisive steps to bring back abducted children More>>

EU & US Let Iran Win Top Seat On UN Women’s Rights Board

EU & US Allowed Iran to Win Top Seat on UN Women’s Rights Board, Rights Group Says More>>

Peaceful Tree Planting Attacked By Zionist Settlers/soldiers

Peaceful tree planting attacked by zionist settlers and soldiers, two Palestinians hospitalised and a German activist arrested. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news