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

 

MSF: Ebola Crisis Update - 16th October 2014

16 October 2014 Cases Deaths Guinea 1,472 843 Liberia 4,249 2,458 Nigeria 20 8 Sierra Leone 3,252 1,183 Senegal 1 0 Total 8,994 4,492 WHO Figures - Data are based on official information reported by Ministries of Health. These numbers are subject to change ... More>>

ALSO:

Detroit: City-Backed Water Shut-Offs Contrary To Human Rights

20 October 2014 – The city of Detroit must restore access to water for its citizens who remain unable to pay their bills, two United Nations experts urged today, adding that a failure to do so would be a violation of the most basic human rights of those ... More>>

ALSO:

DR Congo: Head Of UN Mission Condemns Deadly Rebel Attacks

A MONUSCO APC is greeted by FARDC soldiers on their way back from the front line in the Beni region of the DRC where the UN is backing the FARDC in an operation against ADF militia. Photo: MONUSCO/Sylvain Liechti More>>

UNESCO Chief Denounces Killing Of Cambodian Journalist

17 October 2014 – The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today denounced the killing of a Cambodian reporter shot while investigating illegal logging in the eastern part of the country. More>>


UN Lauds Role Of Family Farmers In Ending Global Hunger

A farmer at work in a dragon fruit field in Viet Nam (July 2013). Photo: FAO/Hoang Dinh Nam | See more photos More>>


Funding Gap Looms Amid Efforts To Tackle Ebola & ISIS

Funding Gap Looms Amid Efforts to Tackle ‘Twin Plagues’ Ebola, ISIL, Warns UN Rights Chief More>>

ALSO:

  • The White House - Ebola: What You Need to Know

  • Egypt Sentences Another Al Jazeera Journalist

    In another disturbing move against freedom of speech and independent journalism in Egypt, one of Al Jazeera Arabic channel’s presenters, Ahmed Mansour, has been sentenced in absentia to fifteen years imprisonment by Cairo’s criminal court on the absurd ... More>>

    ISIL Advance On Iraqi Town Unleash New Flood Of Displacement

    Syrian Kurds from the town of Kobane seeking shelter in Iraq's Kurdistan region. Photo: UNHCR/D. Nahr More>>

    ALSO:

  • U.S. Department of State - U.S. Condemns ISIL Attacks in Iraq

  • Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news