Academic calls for special tribunal for coup-makers and accomplices

An independent academic has suggested that the coup-makers and their accomplices should face a special tribunal once the country returns to civilian rule.

Prach Panchakunathorn, a former lecturer of the Faculty of Arts of Chulalongkorn University, has written an article in Prachatai’s Blogazine, suggesting that a special tribunal should be established after country returns to the civilian rule.

The academic points out in his article that human rights under the military regime have hit rock bottom.

He gave the examples of an activist calling for probe into Rajabhakti Park corruption scandal who was taken last week from his sickbed in hospital as he was waiting for a medical operation and charged under the sedition law, and a man allegedly sharing infographics about the park scandal who was charged with sedition and lèse majesté under Article 112 of the Criminal Code for sarcastic comments defaming the King’s dog.

The academic added that this does not include the two lèse majesté suspects, Prakrom W. and Suriyan S., who died in custody within 14 days after one another at the detention facility in the 11th Military Circle Base in Bangkok and the latest case of an insurgent suspect in the Deep South who died in military custody.

He stated that the special tribunal should retroactively prosecute the coup-makers and their accomplices, such as police officers, judges, and even physicians allegedly involved in human right violations.

“I want to see public trials of these people take place and broadcast live nationwide similar to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa in cases where there is solid evidence,” wrote Prach. “I want them to be prosecuted no matter if there are 80, 90, 95, even if they would be imprisoned for several months, but I want history to record them as criminals.”

After he published the article, Thongchai Winichakul, a Thai historian renowned for his book ‘Siam Mapped’, showed support for Prach’s suggestion.

“I would like to support Prach. I’m in for this. This is not about personal resentment, but about principles,” said Thongchai.