Thammasat lecturer jailed for placing funeral wreath in front of court

The Appeal Court has sentenced a lecturer from a leading university to a month in jail for criticising and defaming the court.

According to Matichon Online, the Court of Appeal on Thursday, 26 November 2015, sentenced Sudsanguan Suthisorn, a lecturer of the Faculty of Social Administration of Thammasat University, to a month in prison.

On 21 February 2014, Sudsanguan, Darunee Kritbunyalai, and Picha Wichitsilp, a lawyer for the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), the main faction of the anti-establishment red shirts, led a group of red shirt demonstrators to the Civil Court of Bangkok.

The three were accused of holding banners criticising the Civil Court and placing a funeral wreath in front of the Court during the demonstration.

The Court of First Instance issued an arrest warrant for Darunee, who fled to the US, while sentencing the other two suspects to two months’ imprisonment.

The Court of Appeal, however, halved the sentence to one month’s imprisonment since the suspects pleaded guilty and have no criminal records, but did not suspend the jail term.

The Court of Appeal confirmed the earlier ruling and rejected the arguments of the lecturer who stated in her appeal that the demonstration was constitutional and that she had nothing to do with placing the funeral wreath in front of the Court.

Only Sudsanguan, however, was sent to prison after the ruling because Picha has died in a car accident.

Many members and supporters of the red shirt movement came to the Court with flowers for the lecturer to give her moral support.

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