Labour activists in South Korea and Indonesia have displayed banners to campaign for the release of Somyot Prueksakasemsuk. On 1 May 2017, International Labour Day, many labour activists and others in South Korea and Indonesia displayed banners at labour rallies in support of Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, a long-time labour activist imprisoned for lèse majesté.
Authorities withhold bail from lèse-majesté suspects to force false confessions and promote fear, a renowned law expert has argued. In Thailand, the right to bail has been transformed into a tool of intimidation.
On 23 February 2017, the Supreme Court sentenced Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, a labour and democracy activist turned lèse majesté suspect, to six years in prison, ending his six year struggle against the charge. As a man of principle, Somyot was the first lèse majesté suspect in a decade to choose to fight until the end, rather than pleading guilty for a lighter jail term. Prachatai has gathered 14 facts about the man whose legal battle has sparked debate about Thailand’s controversial lèse majesté law.
After almost six years in prison, Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, a long-time labour activist turned lèse majesté suspect, was sentenced to six years in jail by the Supreme Court for royal defamation and another year for defaming a military general. At around 10 am on 23 February 2017, the Criminal Court on Ratchadapisek Road in Bangkok read the Supreme Court’s verdict for Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, labour activist and former editor of Voice of Taksin magazine indicted under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law.
Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, a long-time labour activist now lèse majesté prisoner, has denounced the junta’s political reconciliation plans. If the regime is really serious about reconciliation, asserted Somyot, all parties to the political conflicts since the 2006 coup d’état must be invited to the negotiation table. This includes controversial figures such as Thaksin Shinawatra, Suthep Thaugsuban, Yingluck Shinawatra, Jatuporn Prompan, Abhisit Vejjajiva, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, Sondhi Limthongkul and Gen Sonthi Boonyaratglin.
Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, a long-time labour activist turned lèse majesté suspect, will be the first non-Korean activist to be awarded a prestigious prize by Korean trade unions. The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions has announced it will award Somyot Prueksakasemsuk with the Jeon Tae-il Labour Prize to recognise his dedication to labour rights, the Bangkok Post reported.
After five years in prison, Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, a long-time labour activist turned lèse-majesté suspect, has urged the authorities to improve prison conditions, saying prisoners’ rights deteriorated greatly after the 2014 coup d’état. Suwanna Tanlek, a pro-democracy activist, on Thursday morning, 16 June 2016, submitted a petition to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). The petition was written by Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, former editor of the now-defunct Voice of Taksin magazine, charged with offences under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law.
Saturday, 30 April 2016, was the fifth anniversary of the imprisonment of Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, a long-time labour rights activist and human rights defender. On 30 April 2011, Somyot was arrested on allegations of violating Article 112 of the Criminal Code. He was held for six months of pre-trial detention and then hearings in his case were held between 12 November 2011 and 3 May 2012.
January 2016 marked more than four years since Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, social activist and former editor of Voice of Taksin magazine, lost his freedom for the publishing of two articles in the magazine which were deemed to fall within the domain of lèse majesté.
On 23 January 2013 the Criminal Court in Bangkok convicted Somyot Prueksakasemsuk of two violations of Article 112 of the Criminal Code. Somyot Prueksakasemsuk is a long-time labour rights activist and human rights defender. 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.