Security officer records activists’ testimony in court

The security forces have sent a security officer to video-record the trial of activists charged with contempt of court despite the court’s prohibition.

From 27-28 September 2017, Khon Kaen Provincial Court of held the final hearings for seven youth activists accused of contempt of court for organising activities on 10 February 2017 in symbolic support of Jatuphat ‘Pai Dao Din’ Boonpattararaksa that were designed to draw attention to issues in Thailand’s justice system.

Most of the seven are student activists from the Dao Din Group.

Despite the fact that the recording of court proceedings is prohibited, Dechathon Ditsayaphudinan, a security officer, recorded the hearings, telling the court that his superior ordered him to do so.

Court staff said the court will investigate whether Dechathon’s action is contempt of court or not.

At the hearing Sirawit ‘Ja New’ Serithiwat, a prominent anti-junta activist who is one of the seven, denied the charge and argued that the action did not constitute contempt of court.

Yingcheep Atchanon, a lawyer and project manager of iLaw, a human rights advocacy group, testified that the activists gathered peacefully in support of Jatuphat and that the parody symbol of justice erected in front of the court by the activists was meant to convey a message to the military.

Earlier in May, six of the seven activists delivered a petition against their charges to the court, arguing that their activities were nothing more than the exercise of the basic right to freedom of expression, and moreover reflected the views of many students and young people towards Thailand’s justice system, adding that they did not cause any damage to property or endanger others.

The court will give the verdict in the case at 9 am on 2 November 2017.

The campaign on 11 February that lead the charges against the seven students (Photo from The Isaan Record)

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