Amnesty International has issued an appeal for its members worldwide to send letters to Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha calling for an end to criminal prosecutions of peaceful protestors.
A word 'reform' written on the symbolic performer at the 10th December gathering in front of Bangkok UN office.
The Urgent Action appeal, which was issued by the International Secretariat and not the Thailand office of Amnesty International, notes that ‘at least 220 persons, including six children, face criminal proceedings’ and that they ‘face up to decades or even life imprisonment if prosecuted and convicted.’
The appeal highlights the cases of high school student Benjamaporn ‘Ploy’ Nivas, Panusaya ‘Rung’ Sittijirawattanakul, Tattep ‘Ford’ Ruangprapaikitseree and Jatupat ‘Pai’ Boonpattararaksa.
Amnesty International points out in the appeal that the United Nations Human Rights Committee, among many other organizations, has repeatedly recommended that Thailand amend or repeal the very laws it is now using as tools to suppress the expression of critical and dissenting opinions and peaceful protests. Much international concern has focussed on Section 112 of the Criminal Code, the so-called lèse majesté law, which has been widely used in recent days.
This is the second Urgent Action appeal that Amnesty has issued about the situation in Thailand. The first appeal in early September focussed on 31 protestors. That appeal asked Amnesty members to send e-mails to an address for the Public Relations Department. This time, members are asked to send letters direct to the Prime Minister’s office