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

 

Thailand: Prachatai director

Thailand: Campaign page launched for Prachatai director

(Hong Kong, November 5, 2010) The Asian Human Rights Commission on Wednesday launched a new campaign webpage on the case of Chiranuch Premchaiporn, the director of the independent online news service Prachatai, who is facing multiple criminal charges over material that readers posted onto her website.

The webpage, which is mostly in English but also contains some material in Thai, consists of appeals, commentary and links to other relevant contents both on Chiranuch's case and on issues of freedom of expression in Thailand. It can be accessed at: http://www.humanrights.asia/campaigns/chiranuch-prachatai

If convicted of the 10 charges, under Thailand's nebulous and draconian computer crimes and lese-majesty laws, Chiranuch could be imprisoned for up to 50 years.

"The cases against Chiranuch are indicative of how the law in Thailand is increasingly being used as a tool to attack rather than defend fundamental human rights," Basil Fernando, director of policy and programmes at the AHRC, said.

"That she has to criss-cross the country to answer charges in whatever provinces they were lodged against her over website contents that she herself did not author is sheer nonsense, deserving of the strongest condemnation by right-minded people everywhere," Fernando said.

Pointing out that whereas in Thailand there are no criminal offences defining torture or enforced disappearance, the policy director of the Hong Kong based-regional rights group remarked that for Internet crimes to carry lengthy prison terms illustrates how authoritarian and militarized governments use law with increasing cynicism.

"These so-called offences reveal not any wrongdoing on the part of the individual concerned, but only wrongdoing on the part of a rampaging police state," Fernando added.

The AHRC has since 2006 spoken against both the resurgence in what it has described as the internal-security state in Thailand and the rapidly deteriorating conditions for freedom of expression there.

In its 2009 report, it characterized the attacks on Prachatai and its director as forming "part of a pattern under the internal-security state to target certain groups and individuals for harassment, arrest and prosecution as a warning to others not to overstep the many boundaries that prohibit free debate on topics of great importance to the country and its people, including through the use of lese-majesty and criminal defamation laws, as well numerous other ambiguous offences that may be stretched to cover just about anybody and any situation".

About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


UN News: Landmark G7 Agreement Pledges 870 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses, Half By End-2021

A senior UN official welcomed on Sunday, the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialized nations’ commitment to immediately share at least 870 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, supporting global access and helping to end the acute phase of the pandemic... More>>



OECD: G20 GDP Returns To Pre-pandemic Level In The First Quarter Of 2021, But With Large Differences Across Countries

Gross domestic product (GDP) of the G20 area returned to pre-pandemic level in the first quarter of 2021, growing by 0.8% compared with the fourth quarter of 2020. However, this figure conceals large differences across countries... More>>

Myanmar: ‘Mass Deaths’ Alert As 100,000 Flee Junta’s Heavy Weapons

In Myanmar, international action is needed urgently to prevent “mass deaths” there, after civilians fled attacks by so-called “junta bombs”, a top independent UN rights expert has warned... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


UN: Tackling Biodiversity & Climate Crises Together And Their Combined Social Impacts

Unprecedented changes in climate and biodiversity, driven by human activities, have combined and increasingly threaten nature, human lives, livelihoods and well-being around the world... More>>


G7: No Major G7 Stock Index Aligned With Paris Climate Goals

New research by CDP and the United Nations Global Compact on behalf of the Science Based Targets initiative calls on the largest G7 companies to take ambitious climate action... More>>


Report: Universal Access To Sustainable Energy Will Remain Elusive Without Addressing Inequalities

During the last decade, a greater share of the global population gained access to electricity than ever before, but the number of people without electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa actually increased... More>>