freedom of expressions
A court in the Deep South has sentenced a blind woman to one year and six months in prison for royal defamation. On 4 January 2018, the Provincial Court of Yala sentenced Nuruhayati Masoe, a 23-year-old who is blind, to three years in prison for violating Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law. She was accused of royal defamation for sharing an article by Giles Ji Ungpakorn, an academic and political activist who fled from Thailand to the UK in 2009 after he was charged with lèse majesté.
The police are preparing to issue arrest warrants for 20 more protestors against the coal-fired power plant in Songkhla. On 30 November 2017, Thai PBS reported that police of Mueang District of Songkhla Province are preparing to issue arrest warrants for 20 people who joined 15 key leaders of the network from Songkhla and Pattani provinces in a protest against the planned coal-fired power plant and deep sea port in Songkhla.
"During the past three years, my despair about my country has never reached the depth it did when I learned of the judgment in the case of Pai Dao Din," said Nidhi Eoseewong. Nidhi Eoseewong (file photo)
The Thai government should end all lèse-majesté prosecutions and amend Article 112 of the Criminal Code (lèse-majesté) to bring it in line with international law, a United Nations (UN) expert said on 6 October 2017.
The security forces have sent a security officer to video-record the trial of activists charged with contempt of court despite the court’s prohibition.
About 20 people gathered at the skywalk in front of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre at 6 pm on 19 September 2017 to commemorate the 11th year anniversary of the 2006 coup d’état. The event was organised by Sirawit Serithiwat
The father of ‘Pai Dao Din’ has given up hope in the Thai justice system, saying there is no point in trying to appeal the court’s verdict. On 18 September 2017, the Isaan Record reported that Viboom Boonpattararaksa, the father of Jatuphat ‘Pai Dao Din’ Boonpattararaksa, a law student and key democracy activist imprisoned for royal defamation, said he will not submit an appeal request for his son.
Media professionals and human rights advocates have called on the regime to stop using the sedition law to instil an environment of fear and silence its critics. On 3 August 2017, members of the press and human rights advocates gathered at the Thai Journalists Association (TJA) in Bangkok for a public discussion on the use of Article 116 of the Criminal Code, the sedition law.
The defence lawyer of Jatuphat ‘Pai Dao Din’ Boonpattararaksa has revealed that the renowned democracy activist chose to plead guilty because he was being tried in camera, with observers and the media not allowed into the courtroom. After standing firm behind bars for almost eight months, the abrupt decision of Jatuphat, a law student and key democracy activist, to plead guilty took many people by surprise.
“Pai Dao Din should never have had to face trial in the first place. His guilty plea should not be considered as an admission of criminal responsibility as the courts regularly halve sentences for defendants who have pleaded guilty in such cases. Pai Dao Din must be released immediately and unconditionally.” Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, on the imprisonment of Jatuphat ‘Pai Dao Din’ Boonpattararaksa 15 August 2017