Police summon human rights lawyer for filing false complaint

The police have summoned a human rights lawyer who represented 14 well-known anti-junta youth activists imprisoned in 2015, accusing her of making false charges against officers.  

On 31 July 2017, Sirikan Charoensiri, a lawyer from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), received a letter from Chanasongkram Police Station, summoning her to hear charges against her at 10:30 am on 8 August.

The letter states that she is accused of violating Articles 172 and 174 of the Criminal Code for making false accusations against investigating officers.

After negotiations with the police, TLHR reported that Sirikan will report to the police at 11 am on 2 August.

The accusation relates to Sirikan’s refusal to allow a police officer to search her car without a warrant in front of the Military Court of Bangkok on 27 June 2015.

At the time, the police wanted to confiscate the mobile phones of some of the 14 pro-democracy activists she represented which were in Sirikan’s car, but she refused, claiming that the police did not present a warrant to search her car.

Sirikan later file a complaint against the police under Article 157 of the Criminal Code — malfeasance in office — pointing out that the officers unlawfully confiscated her car for the search.

She is also accused under Article 368 of the Criminal Code for disobeying the orders of an official.

In a separate case, Sirikan is also accused of violating Article 116 of the Criminal Code, the sedition law; and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Head’s Order No. 3/2015, the junta’s ban on political gatherings of five or more persons, for observing a pro-democracy gathering at Victory Monument, Bangkok, on 25 June 2015.

Sirikan Charoensiri, a lawyer from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (Photo from the New Democracy Movement)