Activists demand justice for 7 students accused of contempt of court

Two pro-democracy groups have called for charges against seven student activists to be withdrawn. The seven were accused of contempt of court after organising symbolic activities in support of Pai Dao Din. 
 
On 22 April 2017, the Northern Activist Community released a statement in support of seven student activists from the Four Regions Student Network accused of contempt of court for demanding justice for the presently imprisoned Pai Dao Din.
 
One part of the statement reads, “As a group fighting for a most equal society, we are not condemning the court for pressing the case. What we are saying is that we stand by ordinary people, students and anybody who dares to challenge injustice.”
 
The activist group Dao Din has also released a statement in support of the seven student activists. The statement expresses concern that civil society in Thailand presently does not operate freely, since the authoritarian government can interfere under draconian laws such as Article 44 of the constitution.
 
On 16 March 2017, seven student activists received notice from the Khon Kaen court that they stood accused of contempt of court. They were charged for organising activities on 10 February 2017 in symbolic support of Pai Dao Din that were designed to draw attention to issues in Thailand’s justice system.
 
The Dao Din statement argues that threats, intimidation and the use of the justice system to oppress has made commonplace the suppression of anybody who has a different opinion to Thailand’s military government.  
 
“We believe we should be able to freely express thoughts and symbolic gestures of any kind. Expression should not be limited by power of any kind, such as by charging seven student activists with contempt of court. We do not agree with a justice system that shows strength by suppressing thought and diversity in feeling or expression. We demand that the case against the student activists be halted completely.”
 
The closed hearing of the 7 students took place on 24 April 2017. 
 
 
The campaign on 11 February that lead the charges against the seven students (Photo from The Isaan Record)