The Supreme Court has dismissed the charges against 6 Kalasin police officers over the hanging of a 17-year-old youth, who allegedly stole a motorcycle during the drug war. It stated that witness testimony was unreliable, unconvincing and not credible, and gave the accused the benefit of the doubt.
Almost 20 police officers from Bowon Mongkol Police Station went to close down the punk concert hosted by the Facebook page ‘It’s almost 4 years already, I Sadd’’ at The Overstay, Charan Sanitwong, on 21 September, on the grounds that it was a political event and permission had not been requested from the authorities.
Poonsuk Poonsukchareon, a human rights lawyer, made 5 observations on the authority of the agency which made the announcement, the inconsistency in the enforcement of laws in the locality and the principle of proportionality in ISOC Region 4’s declaration of Bang Khao and Tha Kamcham Subdistricts, Nong Chik District, Pattani Province as a temporary special control zone.
In the case of 6 teenagers accused of burning arches, the Court of Appeal dismissed charges under Article 112 and reduced the jail terms for criminal association and arson, without suspension. All 6 individuals and their relatives expressed their joy after the verdict. Two of the accused had their prison sentences reduced to 9 years, 3 received 6 years and 2 accused in only one case to 3 years.
Voice TV station has decided to suspend Wake Up News commentators Sirote Klampaiboon and Viroj Ali and cartoonist Sia from 17 September to 17 October. Prateep Kongsib, the Director of Voice TV, later made a statement through his personal Facebook account. “If there are no changes at all, Voice TV’s situation will be in a dangerous spot,” since “those with power” to decide its fate are strongly dissatisfied with the analysis and criticisms of the two commentators and the Wake Up cartoons.
The authorities have arrested two women for possessing pro-republic t-shirts. One of them has already been released while the other is detained incommunicado. On 6 September 2018, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) reported that Bangkok authorities that morning arrested Surangkhanang (pseudonym) and her daughter, 11. According to Surangkhanang’s niece, over 10 officials, including four soldiers, about 5 men in black and female officials, emerged from a grey van and arrested the two after they came back from the market.
Despite an objection from the prosecutor, a key witness of the 2010 massacre charged with royal defamation has been released on bail with 400,000 baht as surety. On 4 July 2018, Winyat Chatmontree, a lawyer from United Lawyers for Rights & Liberty, posted on Facebook that the Bangkok Military Court released Nutthida Meewangpla on bail after serving three years and five months for royal defamation and criminal association. She had to pay 400,000 baht as surety.
Nonthaburi authorities have arrested 168 refugees and asylum seekers from Vietnam and Cambodia, even though 154 of them are recognised by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). On 28 August 2018, district officials, the military, local police and Immigration Police raided a house in Bang Yai District in Nonthaburi to arrest 130 Vietnamese and 38 Cambodians. The raid took place at dawn after the authorities received a report that the 168 were connected to human trafficking networks. 60 of those arrested are children.
On 26 August 2018, Prawet Prapanukul, 57, was released from Bangkok Remand Prison after serving 16 months. The human rights lawyer was arrested on 29 April 2017 for violating Article 112 of the Penal Code, the royal defamation law. Prawet faced up to 50 years in prison for posting messages on Facebook that landed him with 10 lèse majesté charges and three sedition charges. The Court of First Instance on 27 June 2018 dismissed his royal defamation charges but sentenced him to 15 months in prison for sedition, plus one extra month for refusing to be fingerprinted.
Pattani authorities have raided a classroom to arrest two Myanmar volunteer teachers and one tourist who was merely observing the class. Authorities said teaching as a volunteer without a work permit constitutes an offence, since receiving a meal is a form of reward.