Human rights lawyer accused of defying police order

Police have summoned a lawyer for the well-known anti-junta 14 youth activists imprisoned in June and July 2015, accusing her of disobeying the orders of police officers.  

According to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (THLR), Sirikan Charoensiri, a TLHR lawyer, received two letters from Chanasongkram Police Station in Bangkok on Tuesday, 2 February 2016.

The letters summon her to report to the police station at 10 am on 9 February, stating that Pol Col Suriya Jamnongchok, an investigator in the case of 14 anti-junta youth activists detained for about two weeks in June and July last year, accuses her under Articles 172 and 368 of the Criminal Code of propagating false accusations against investigating officers and disobeying police orders.  

Article 172 states that whoever gives false information concerning a criminal offence to public prosecutors, officials conducting cases, inquiry officers or any official who has the power to investigate criminal cases, which may cause injury to another person or the public, shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding two years, or fined not more than 4,000 baht, or both.

Article 368 stipulates that whoever disobeys the orders of an official according to the authority invested by law, shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding ten days, or fined no more than 500 baht, or both. If such orders are authorized by law and require a person to assist in carrying on activities in the function of officials, the offender shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding one month, or fined not more than 1,000 baht, or both.

The police filed the charges against Sirikan for objecting to a search of her car by officers on the night of 27 June 2015 in front of the Military Court of Bangkok after the 14 activists were arrested and taken to the court.

Sirikan claimed then that the police did not have with them a warrant to search her car.

The next day, she went to Samranrat Police Station at around 1 pm to file a complaint against the police under Article 157 of the Thai Criminal Code, malfeasance in office, pointing out that officers unlawfully confiscated her car for the search.