freedom of expressions
The military has intimidated a human rights defender in the restive Deep South, ordering her not to post comments on Facebook about human rights violations. On 1 July 2017, six men believed to be military officers in plainclothes visited the shop of the family of Anchana Heemmina, president of Duay Jai, a local human rights advocacy group in the Deep South, according to the Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF).
A provincial court has for the 10th time refused to release Jatuphat ‘Pai Dao Din’ Boonpattararaksa, a well-known anti-junta activist detained for royal defamation. On 30 June 2017, the Khon Kaen Provincial Court denied granting bail valued at 700,000 baht to Jatuphat, a law student and key member of the New Democracy Movement (NDM).
The Criminal Court has for the sixth time refused to release a human rights lawyer facing up to 50 years in prison for royal defamation and sedition. On 26 June 2017, the Bangkok Criminal Court renewed the pre-trial detention period for Prawais Prapanugool, a human rights lawyer accused of violating Articles 112 and 116 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law and the sedition law.
Supporters of well-known anti-junta activist Jatuphat ‘Pai Dao Din’ Boonpattararaksa gathered to demand his release after half a year in detention for sharing a news article deemed defamatory to the monarchy. To mark the six months in prison of Jatuphat, a law student and key member of the New Democracy Movement (NDM), at least a dozen of people gathered at 6 pm on 22 June 2017 on the skywalk at Ratchaprasong Intersection, Bangkok, to demand his release. About 20 police officers in uniform and plain clothes closely monitored the event, but did not disrupt it.
An anti-junta activist has accused AIS, one of Thailand’s biggest mobile phone service providers, of unlawfully revealing private information about him. Piyarat ‘Toto’ Chongthep, an anti-junta activist, told the media during his trial on 14 June 2017 at Prakhanong Provincial Court in Bangkok that AIS illegally gave private information about him to the authorities. He said that during the trial, an AIS staff member who was called to testify revealed information about his whereabouts and of two other accused, including mobile banking information before and after 7 August 2016.
Military has attempted to ban a book about the rice subsidy programme authored by politicians from the Pheu Thai Party. On 14 June 2017, Gen Chalermchai Sittisad, Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army, spoke to the media about a visit to the house of Yuttapong Charasathien, a former Pheu Thai MP and Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, by eight soldiers on 11 June.
The Supreme Court has handed a two years and six months jail term to an elderly anti-establishment red shirt accused of defaming the monarchy by uploading lèse majesté audio clips. On 9 June 2017, the Supreme Court confirmed the Appeal Court verdict, sentencing Chaleaw J., a 58-year-old tailor from the northeastern province of Chaiyaphum, to five years’ imprisonment
A provincial court has granted bail to a prominent anti-junta activist accused of contempt of court after he denied the charge. On 31 May 2017, the Provincial Court of Khon Kaen held a hearing for seven youth activists accused of contempt of court for organising activities on 10 February 2017 in symbolic support of Pai Dao Din that were designed to draw attention to issues in Thailand’s justice system.
Note: On 29 April, a university professor was arrested as part of a sweep of six individuals accused of committing lèse majesté by posting to Facebook. He has been denied bail, as most are in these cases. Last week, Yukti Mukdawijitra, an anthropology professor at Thammasat University went to visit him. What follows are his reflections on their conversation, which was first published in Thai in his usual blog column for Prachatai.—trans.
The Criminal Court has refused to release on bail a human rights lawyer facing up to 50 years in prison for royal defamation and sedition. The Criminal Court on Ratchadaphisek Rd., Bangkok, on 11 May 2017, renewed the detention period for Prawet Praphanukul, a human rights lawyer accused of violating Articles 112 and 116 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law and the sedition law.