The sounds of pretty drum majorettes, cheerleaders and whimsical music were blaring. The colour of pink on the shirts of hundreds of students was being paraded from Chula to a stadium nearby, where the Traditional CU-TU Football Match was about to take place. The once-a-year event is seen by many students as a chance to show their pride, unity and loyalty to their institutions.
Jan 31 - A group of protesters calling themselves the Network for Protection of the Monarchy gathered in front of the office of the European Union Delegation to Thailand on Thursday morning, saying that they want to "lecture" the EU, explaining that the status of the Thai monarchy is special and not like that in European countries.
The recent 11-year sentence against Somyot Prueksakasemsuk relating to lèse majesté and Thailand’s defamation laws has, once again, brought into focus questions that seek to fairly examine the current status of human rights and freedom of expression within Thailand.
Jan 25 - Groups of political activists protested in front of the Criminal Court on Ratchadaphisek Road after magazine editor Somyot Prueksakasemsuk was sentenced to 10-years in prison for lèse majesté.
Condemning the 10-year prison sentence for Somyot Prueksakasemsuk (25 January 2013, Seoul) People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD) condemns recent ruling by the Thai Criminal Court on Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, a Thai labour activist and human rights defender, under the charge of violating lèse majesté law. PSPD urges the Government of Thailand to immediately repeal lèse majesté law which threats freedom of expression and silence political dissents.
Here is an unofficial English translation of the official summary verdict released by the Criminal Court on 23 January 2013.
On January 23, 2013, the Criminal Court in Bangkok read the verdict in Black Case No. O.2962/2554, in which Somyot Prueksakasemsuk was charged with two violations of Article 112 of the Criminal Code. Somyot Prueksakasemsuk is a long-time labour rights activist and human rights defender. Somyot was prosecuted in relation to two articles published in Voice of Taksin magazine, a print publication with which he worked. The Court found Somyot guilty on both charges, and he was sentenced to ten years in prison in this case, as well as to one year in prison in relation to a prior case.
Reporters Without Borders is outraged by the 11-year jail sentence that a Bangkok criminal court passed today on Voice of Thaksin magazine editor Somyot Prueksakasemsuk on lèse-majesté charges for publishing two articles by another person in 2010 that were deemed to have defamed the king and the monarchy.
Washington, January 23, 2013 - Freedom House denounces the verdict delivered by Thailand’s criminal court sentencing long-time labor rights activist and former editor of magazineVoice of Taksin, Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, to 11 years in prison and calls for his immediate release. The government must amend its laws to protect free expression in accordance with international human rights standards.
The Criminal Court yesterday sentenced a prominent labour activist and magazine editor Somyot Prueksakasemsuk to 10 years' imprisonment for publishing two articles deemed to violate the lèse majesté law, amidst international concerns about freedom of expression in Thailand.