The Military Court in Khon Kaen has begun trying two members of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) merely for observing a public seminar that discussed the junta’s constitution.
A student activist has been arrested in Khon Kaen for a peaceful, symbolic protest against the junta. On 21 December 2017, a military prosecutor in Khon Kaen detained Phanuphong Sithananuwat, 22, a student activist from the pro-democracy Dao Din group. Authorities arrested Phanuphong while he was attending a trial for another lawsuit, in which he stands accused of criticising the junta’s charter in July 2016. According to a local source, the court has granted him bail.
After being imprisoned for three years and four months, a military court once again postponed a witness hearing for a poet accused of royal defamation. On 15 November 2017, the Military Court of Bangkok postponed the trial for Sirapop (surname withheld for privacy concerns), 53, once again as a witness failed to appear to the court. According to Anon Nampa, human rights lawyer representing the defendant, since he was arrested in June 2014, the court completed only one witness hearing in the case out of 6-7 plaintiff witnesses.
In what follows below, I offer a concise picture of the dynamics and significance of Article 112 over the preceding decade. Some of the sources cannot be fully cited as it may harm those who provided information or defendants in ongoing cases.
A military court has accepted a case against eight individuals who participated in seminar last year on the junta-backed constitution. Three are human rights defenders who came merely to observe the event. On 17 October 2017, Khon Kaen Military Court accepted a case against five student activists and three human rights defenders.
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.
A military court has acquitted a well-known labour unionist accused violating a summons from the junta. On 6 July 2017, the Military Court of Bangkok acquitted Jittra Cotchadet, a labour activist, former president of the Triumph Workers Union and MP candidate for the Democratic Force Party. Jittra was accused of violating National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Announcement No. 41/2014 for failing to report to the authorities in June 2014 when she was in Sweden at the time.
The Commission on Jurisdiction of Courts has decided that a lèse majesté suspect accused of mocking the late King’s favourite dog will be tried in a military court. On 26 June 2017, the Military Court of Bangkok read the verdict of the Commission on Jurisdiction of Courts on the case against Thanakorn S., a 27-year-old man from Samut Prakan Province.
Bangkok’s Military Court has released on bail an embattled activist who was arrested one day before he planned to petition the junta for information about the controversial Thai-Chinese railway deal. On 26 June 2017, the Military Court of Bangkok granted bail to Rangsiman Rome, a key activist from the Democracy Restoration Group (DRG), one day after he was arrested and detained overnight at Chanasongkram Police Station in Bangkok. Bail was set at 60,000 baht.
An embattled anti-junta activist ‘Pai Dao Din’ has received a prestigious Gwangju Prize for Human Rights while attending a trial at a military court. On 22 May 2017, Jatuphat ‘Pai’ Boonpattararaksa, a law student and key member of the New Democracy Movement (NDM), was taken to the Military Court of Khon Kaen Province for attending a trial.