On Monday (24 June), Amnesty International Thailand (AI) issued a call for appeals to be sent to the Thai government in the case of the 17 activists facing charges for their participation in a peaceful assembly outside Pathumwan Police Station on 24 June 2015.
Some of the demonstrators at the 2015 protest
On 6 April 2019, the Thai authorities charged Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit under Article 116 of the Criminal Code, governing sedition, Article 215 for an assembly of ten or more people breaching the peace, and Article 189 for providing assistance to someone who has committed a serious crime – allegedly for giving activist Rangsiman Rome a lift from the police station after the 24 June 2015 protest.
The Thai authorities subsequently charged 16 other activists, including Suhaimee Dulasa, former President of the Federation of Patani Students and Youth (PerMas), and student activist Jatupat “Pai Dao Din” Boonpattararaksa, who has just been released from prison, under Articles 116 and 215.
“Filing charges against these individuals nearly four years after their peaceful demonstration appears to be a politically motivated decision to silence perceived opponents and has a chilling effect on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in Thailand,” says AI’s statement.
AI is asking its members worldwide to write letters to the Office of the Prime Minister, requesting that the Thai authorities immediately drop charges against the 17 individuals and other individuals in line with Thailand’s obligations under international human rights law. They are also asking that action be taken as soon as possible, and any individual who wishes to send an appeal should do so by 5 August.
Appeals may be written in English, Thai, or any other language. A model letter in English, along with the complete list of the individuals charged and their preferred pronouns can be found here.