Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR)
Human rights lawyers condemned the Thai police for the hasty arrests of 14 embattled student activists and the unlawful collection of the activists’ mobile phones. Yaowalak Anuphan, head of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), said at a press conference on Sunday, 28 June, at Thammasat University, that the arrests on Friday were hasty and unprofessional. The 14 activists, mostly students, were arrested for political gatherings on 22 May, the first anniversary of the 2014 coup d’état, in Bangkok and the northeastern province of Khon Kaen.
The Thai police confiscated five mobile phones after a search of the car of a defence lawyer for the 14 embattled anti-junta student activists while the lawyer pointed out that the search was unlawful.
Thai police officers attempted to search the car of a lawyer representing the 14 embattled student activists without a search warrant. At 1 am on Saturday, investigating officers from Chanasongkram Police Station in Bangkok attempted to search a car belonging to Sirikan Charoensiri, a lawyer from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), who is one of the defence lawyers of the 14 embattled student activists in front of the Bangkok’s Military Court.
In pursuance to the invocation of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Order no. 7/2557 to ban political gathering and Section 44 of the 2014 Interim Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand which issue the Order of Head of NCPO no. 3/2015 regarding the maintenance of public order and national security as well as the orders to authorize military court to have jurisdiction over cases related to political assembly, the police and military officials have lately exercised their draconian power to hold a person in custody.
The Thai military stormed into a meeting in central Thailand, citing the junta’s ban on political gatherings, while calling meeting participants ‘brainless’. On 13 June, according to the Thai Lawyer for Human Rights Centre (TLHR), military officers intervened in a meeting organised by the Assembly of the Poor (AOP), an NGO which is the voice of marginalised communities in Thailand, in Chai Badan District of central Lopburi Province.
The Thai military summoned a lecturer at a university in Thailand’s Northeast, for questioning about his relationship with an anti-junta activist group in the region. On 12 June, military officers of the northeastern province of Maha Sarakham summoned Chainarong Sretthachau, a lecturer at Mahasarakham University, to ask about the lecturer’s affiliation with the Dao Din group, an anti-junta student activist group based in Khon Kaen University. Chainarong, however, informed the officers that he would like to postpone the meeting to 15 June.
The junta has responded to criticism by Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) that freedoms of expression and assembly were denied, after the police forced cancellation of a TLHR talk on human rights. On Friday 5 June, Col Winthai Suwaree, spokesperson of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), said that the TLHR did not cooperate with the NCPO in the first place. If the NCPO had considered the report to make sure that its content is truthful and did not incite conflict, then the event could have been held, Winthai said.
The Thai military government’s last minute shutdown of a panel discussion on human rights is a blatant attempt to silence criticism in violation of Thailand’s international legal obligations, Amnesty International said. The event, a report launch by the NGO Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, on human rights violations in the year since the 2014 military coup, was today cancelled by Thai authorities at the last minute. Media reports said that authorities claimed the event was “likely to cause disturbance”.
4 June 2015 - Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) launches a report, “Human Rights One Year After the 2014 Coup: A Judicial Process in Camouflage Under the National Council for Peace and Order.” The report highlights how during the past year, in addition to failing to be a ‘neutral party,’ the military has violated fundamental rights, including the right to freedom of expression.
The Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) plans to launch a report on the situation of human rights one year after the coup in Thailand on 4 June 2015, 18.00, at the Foreign Correspondent Club of Thailand (FCCT). But today (4 June) around noontime, TLHR was informed by the FCCT that the police had approached them asking them to refrain from allowing the event to take place at their venue.