Activist given 6-month suspended jail term for contempt of court

A provincial court has handed a six-month suspended jail term to a prominent anti-junta activist while putting six other activists on probation for one year.

On 2 November 2017, the Khon Kaen Provincial Court read the verdict for seven pro-democracy youth activists indicted for contempt of court for organising activities on 10 February 2017 in symbolic support of Jatupat ‘Pai Dao Din’ Boonpattararaksa, They aimed to draw attention to issues in Thailand’s justice system.

The court sentenced Sirawit ‘Ja New’ Serithiwat, a prominent anti-junta activist, to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and a 500 baht fine.

The six other activists were ordered to wait two years for sentencing and put on probation for one year, during which time they have to report six times. The court also ordered them to do 24 hours of social service.

In May, six of the seven activists delivered a petition against the charges to the court, arguing that their activities were nothing more than the exercise of the basic right to freedom of expression, and 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 dismissed the request.

A group of activist gather in front of Khon Kaen Provincial Court in their student uniforms on 10 February 2017 to demand for Pai Dao Din’s release (Photo from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights)

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