Amnesty International issues Urgent Action appeal for 3 Thai human rights defenders

Amnesty International has today issued a worldwide Urgent Action appeal for Somchai Homla-or, Pornpen Khongkachonkiet, and Anchana Heemmina, who have been charged by the Thai military with criminal defamation and violations of the Computer Crimes Act.
 
On 21 June 2016, Amnesty International headquarters in London issued an appeal to its members worldwide to write to the Thai authorities calling for them to immediately and unconditionally drop charges against Somchai Homla-or, Pornpen Khongkachonkiet and Anchana Heemina, authors of a report documenting torture of Malay Muslim detainees in the Deep South.  They face up to five years’ imprisonment and fines of up to 300,000 baht if found guilty.
 
The charges were filed by ISOC Region 4, who accused the three of defaming the ‘honour of Thailand’, claiming that the allegations of torture were unfounded and malicious.  The filing of charges has been widely criticized both within and outside the country. (further detail)
 
Somchai Homla-or is a former President of Amnesty International Thailand and Pornpen Khongkachonkiet was earlier this month overwhelmingly elected to the same position by AI Thailand members.
 
The appeal asks AI members around the world to write immediately to Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha and Minister of Justice Gen. Paiboon Koomchaya, with copies to Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai and Thai embassies in their own countries.  Such appeals typically generate thousands of responses.

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