A Deputy Prime Minister has said that a key member of a progressive law academic group might be prosecuted under the Referendum Act for campaigning for ‘vote no’.
On 29 March 2016, the Constitution Drafting Committee released the new Draft Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand, B.E..... for the people to examine before voting in the referendum on whether or not to accept it. The Khana Nitirat: Law for the People has studied the Draft Constitution in detail and has formed initial views about it.
A group of progressive law scholars has denounced the draft constitution, saying it will only prolong the junta’s rule. The Nitirat group, an association of progressive law academics known for their advocacy against Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law, on Thursday, 7 April 2016, issued a public statement against the complete draft constitution written by the junta-appointed Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC).
The Bangkok military court on Tuesday held the first witness hearing in the case where Worachet Pakeerut, courageous law academic from Thammasat University, is accused of twice defying the coup makers’ orders to report in. Observers from Thai and international human rights organizations and the US and German Embassies came to observe the trial. The public prosecutor filed two charges against Worachet for defying NCPO Orders No. 5/2014, issued on 24 May 2014, and No. 57/2014, issued on 9 June 2014.
Bangkok’s Military Court dismissed a petition questioning its jurisdiction, submitted by Worachet Pakeerut, a prominent law academic and core member of the Nitirat group, who was charged with failing to report to the junta. According to Free Thai Legal Aid (FTLA), the Military Court of Bangkok on Monday morning rejected the petition submitted by Worachet.
Since the coup d’état on 22 May, the junta has threatened and detained academics and students in many tertiary educational institutions. It even sent soldiers to storm on-going academic seminars and force them to stop. Despite the climate of fear, Thai academics are now protesting against the junta and the suppression of free speech by using a metal box. Yes, a metal box -- or ‘Peep’ in Thai.
Thai police arrested a woman protester for showing support for the US in front of the US Embassy in Bangkok on 4 July, Independence Day. The police detained Chaowanat Musikabhumi, aka “Nong,” at the Crime Suppressiong Division without charges. When she was interrogated by the military and security officers at the Thai Army Club, the military officers told her that by holding a placard reading “Long Live USA Day,” she may have violated Article 112 of the Criminal Code or the lèse majesté law that the placard
Thai police on Wednesday charged Worachet Pakeerut, a law academic from Thammasat University and member of the courageous Nitirat group, for not reporting to the junta -- on time. He was released from Bangkok Remand Prison at about 6.30 pm on Wednesday. Worachet flew back from Hong Kong to Don Muang International Airport in Bangkok on Monday. The Immigration Police detained him and took him to the Army Club in Theves, Bangkok.
The military has released Sawatree Suksri, law academic from Thammasat University and member of Nitirat group, from detention around 10pm of Monday. The military escorted her home after a full-day interogation at the Army Club at Thevet since Monday morning. She was detained at a military camp in eastern Prachinburi province for two nights. The military did not press any charge against her, according to a source.