freedom of expressions
Thai authorities should immediately drop charges against a prominent academic and four conference participants for violating the military junta’s ban on public assembly at a conference at Chiang Mai University in July 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. The International Conference on Thai Studies included discussions and other activities that the ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) junta deemed critical of military rule.
A provincial court has held the first hearing in the lèse majesté trial of Jatuphat ‘Pai Dao Din’ Boonpattararaksa in camera. On 3 August 2017, the provincial court of Khon Kaen held the first plaintiff witness hearing in the case of Jatuphat, a well-known anti-junta activist detained for royal defamation. Before the hearing began, the court posted a notice in front of the courtroom informing about 10 people who came to show support for Jatuphat and other observers that the trial would be held in camera.
The police have released a politician known for his anti-junta stand, who is facing a sedition charge over his Facebook posts. On 1 August 2017, Watana Muangsook, a politician from the Pheu Thai Party, reported to the Technology Crime Suppression Division after he was accused of violating Article 116 of the Criminal Code, the sedition law.
Soldiers and police officers have barred Muslim students from gathering to show solidarity with Palestine. On 29 July 2017, about 60 soldiers and police officers from Bangsue Police Station, both in uniform and plainclothes, disrupted a gathering of the Muslim Students Federation of Thailand (MUSTFETH) at Chatuchak Park in Bangkok.
A military court has revoked bail for an embattled anti-junta activist after summoning him to a witness hearing. At around 10 am on 27 July 2017, Jatuphat ‘Pai Dao Din’ Boonpattararaksa, a law student and key democracy activist, was taken to the Military Court of Khon Kaen for a witness hearing.
The Criminal court has accepted charges against a human rights lawyer facing five decades in prison for royal defamation and sedition. On 25 July 2017, the Criminal Court on Ratchadapisek Rd., Bangkok, accepted charges against Prawais Prapanugool, a human rights lawyer, after the prosecutor indicted him under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law and Article 116, the sedition law.
The Civil Court has commenced a trial initiated by democracy activists against the junta leader, the Army and the Royal Thai Police (RTP). The activists accuse authorities of violating their rights during a crackdown on a gathering to commemorate the 2014 coup d’état. On 18 July 2017, the Civil Court held the first plaintiff witness hearing in a case filed by 13 youth activists, most of whom are former members of the New Democracy Movement.
The Deputy Governor of Chiang Mai has threatened three academics who allegedly put up banners against the junta with being summoned by the military.
Declaration of the Community of International Academics at the 13th International Conference on Thai Studies and Scholars on Thai Studies
Almost one year after the constitution referendum in 2016, the police have concluded to press charges against 11 people accused of breaking the junta’s political gathering ban for participating in a discussion about the 2017 Constitution.