30 Jun 2015
A Thai military court sent an anti-junta transgender student activist to a male prison before releasing her, despite an LGBT group’s concerns over sexual harassment that she might face.
22 Jun 2015
Although as many as two thirds of all countries worldwide have already abolished the death penalty, many countries in Asia still maintain it for serious criminal offenses. According to the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the death penalty should only be permitted for serious cases involving loss of life. In Southeast Asia, however, most suspects sentenced to death have committed crimes related to drug trafficking.
12 Jun 2015
More than 300 lawyers, NGO workers, journalists, state officials, academics, activists, and others from around the globe met to encourage efforts to end the principle of ‘an eye for an eye’ in justice systems by abolishing the use of capital punishment in Asia and elsewhere.
9 Jun 2015
A new documentary film on the life of a Mexican transgender and her journey to have sex reassignment surgery in Thailand is undoubtedly heart-warming to many; some, however, wonder if it is more of a PR piece to promote Thailand’s thriving plastic surgery industry.
15 May 2015
LGBT activists from all walks of life point out that discrimination against LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) is still prevalent in Thailand although the Asian country promotes itself as a paradise for all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions (SOGIE).
15 May 2015
In the final part of this series, Prachatai talks to Atiwich Patthamapornsirikul, aka Jimmy, a student activist from the Seri Kaset Group, a student activist group from Kasetsart University. In March, the Thai junta sent security officers to visit Atiwich’s family, urging them to restrict Atiwich’s political activities. However, Atiwich chooses to continue challenging the junta to call for a return to democracy.
8 May 2015
In the second of the series, Prachatai talks to Sirawit Serithiwat (Ja New), a student activist from Thammasat University. In early February 2015, Sirawit was one of the four activists charged with violating the junta’s Order 7/2014, which prohibits a political public gathering of more than five persons. If found guilty, Sirawit could face up to a year in jail and a 20,000 baht fine. He is also reportedly being constantly followed by security officers. Despite the legal harassment and intimidation by the Thai authorities, Sirawit chooses to continue his political activities for democracy.
1 May 2015
In November 2014, a transgender student activist was arrested and briefly detained for flashing a three-fingered salute at the ‘Hunger Games 3’ movie premiere in central Bangkok as a symbolic protest against the junta. Since then, she has become one of the best-known figures in the political movement against the junta. Prachatai talked to her about why she chose to stand against the regime despite all the risks that this entailed.
10 Mar 2015
The junta cabinet has approved a bill on religion which can be used to prosecute, with jail terms, people who propagate ‘incorrect’ versions of Buddhist doctrines or cause harm to Buddhism. The bill also posts jail terms specifically for homosexual monks.
3 Mar 2015
On Thailand’s Children’s Day in January, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Thai junta leader, said in a TV program that ‘knowledge and morality will lead us to the future’. Using the concept of morality as guidance, the junta is striving to make Buddhism a state religion and convincing children to follow the moral guidance of the King and love the nation, religion, and monarchy. The junta is looking to apply its definitions of morality to holders of political posts and civil servants. The junta’s Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) has now laid out plans to create a ‘National Virtue Assembly’, a supra-governmental body which could determine the moral or ethical standards of public officials.
13 Feb 2015
It is ten years since Prachatai was founded as an alternative media outlet.
10 Feb 2015
The Prevention and Suppression of Temptations to Dangerous Behaviors which will ban specific kinds of pornography in a bid to increase efficiency in suppression, potentially paves way for a ban of group sex, and BDSM, in the name of public morals. The bill also poses a great threat to media freedom as it not only broadly defines a wide range of media content deemed inappropriate, it also adopts the notorious article of the Computer Crime Act which indiscriminately holds internet intermediaries liable for all pornographic/violent materials without safe harbour.