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Thread: Thailand : Human rights defenders summoned after observing anti-draft charter activity

  1. #1
    nautical member Mid's Avatar
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    Thailand : Human rights defenders summoned after observing anti-draft charter activity

    Human rights defenders summoned after observing anti-draft charter activity
    Thu, 18/08/2016

    Human rights defenders and students activists have been summoned for allegedly conspiring with an anti-junta activist, who is currently on a hunger strike, in hosting a seminar criticising junta-sponsored draft constitution. The human rights defenders insist they merely monitored the seminar.

    On Thursday, 18 August, Thai Lawyer for Human Rights (TLHR) revealed that the police in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen have issued a summons of six people to hear accusation for violating the order of the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order. The six include two TLHR staff and Jatuphat Boonpattaraksa aka ‘Phai’, a pro-democracy activist who has staged a hunger strike in jail since 6 August.

    The summons states that the six must report in on 18 August. The accusation is related to a public discussion on the junta-sponsored draft charter on 31 July at Khon Kaen University. The six were accused of organizing the seminar.

    Two summoned TLHR staff are Duangthip Khanrit and Niranut Niamsap. The rest are two student activists from Khon Kaen University, (Chatmongkhon Chanchiawchan and Narongrit Uppachan), a local activist (Natthapon Athan).

    The police has agreed with the TLHR to postpone the date to 31 Aug because Jatuphat is currently in jail and the other five have only learned about the summons on 18 Aug.

    According to TLHR, Natthapon, Duangthip Niranut merely monitored the 31 July seminar and have no involvement with the organization team. As for the two TLHR staff, the TLHR stated that they clearly identified themselves with name tags while observing the activities, and identified themselves as observers with the authorities who were in charge of keeping law and order at the venue. The TLHR condemned that this obviously is an intimidation against human rights defenders.

    Jatuphat Boonpattaraksa, better known as Phai Dao Din, is an activist from Doa Din, the group of student activists based in Khon Kaen. Apart from campaigns against dictatorship which the group has incessantly held since the coup in May 2014, Dao Din is renown for its works on community rights and environmental issues. Jatuphat was arrested on 6 August for distributing flyers campaigning for ‘Vote No’ in the draft charter referendum. He started a hunger strike on the same day he was arrested.




    Police officers confiscate ‘Vote No’ posters at the 31 July seminar
    (Photo coutesy: TLHR)

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  2. #2
    nautical member Mid's Avatar
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    Police press charges against seminar observers for first time
    Wed, 31/08/2016

    Police officers in Thailand’s northeast have achieved a new standard of intimidation after pressing charges against two rights advocates for merely observing a seminar criticizing the junta-backed draft charter.

    On Wednesday, 31 July 2016, police officers in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen summoned six people to the Muang District police station for an accusation hearing. The authorities accused the six of breaching NCPO Order No. 3/2015, the junta’s ban on public gatherings, as they allegedly hosted a seminar titled ‘Talks for Freedom’ criticizing the junta-sponsored draft charter on 31 July at Khon Kaen University.

    The six people comprised Jatuphat Boonpattaraksa, the hunger-striked student activist from the pro-democracy Dao Din group; Chatmongkhon Chanchiawchan and Narongrit Uppachan, student activists from Khon Kaen University; Duangthip Khanrit and Niranut Niamsap, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) staff; and Natthaphon Athan a local activist from the New Isaan Movement.

    This is the first time that authorities have ever pressed charges against mere observers of an anti-junta seminar. Duangthip and Niranut were at the 31 July seminar just to observe and record human rights violations. However, they were accused of the same charge as the event’s organizers.

    Before meeting police officers, the six read a statement in front of the police station condemning the junta regime and urging the public to rise against the regime.

    “Freedom of expression is reserved only for those who support the dictatorship. Those who think differently are branded as criminals, forced to escape or detained. Therefore, we are not appealing to the dictator. We’re urging the public to come out together to create a free and fair society,” Chatmongkhon read.

    The statement called upon the junta to abolish laws and regulations prohibiting freedom of expression, to end all prosecution against the the junta’s critics and to stop trying people in military courts.



    Chatmongkhon reads the statement in front of Muang District police station while the others do the bird hand-sign, symbolizing freedom of expression.

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  3. #3
    nautical member Mid's Avatar
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    More people accused over constitution seminar
    Tue, 27/09/2016

    Nearly two months after the referendum on the junta-sponsored constitution, the police are summoning more people for violating the junta’s ban on political gatherings over a public seminar about the constitution.

    On 26 September 2016, police in Khon Kaen Province issued summons for Cherdchai Tantisirin, former Member of Parliament for the Pheu Thai Party, Panwadee Tantisirin, lecturer in the Nursing Faculty of Khon Kaen University, Rangsiman Rome, key member of the New Democracy Movement (NDM), Panupong Sritananuwat, activist from the Dao Din Group, and another person who requested anonymity, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) reported.

    They are ordered to report to Mueang District Police Station in Khon Kaen at 10 am on 28 September.

    The five are accused of breaking the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Head’s Order 3/2015, the junta’s ban on political gatherings of five or more persons, by participating in a public discussion called ‘Talk for Freedom: Constitution and Isaan People’.

    The talk about the junta-sponsored draft constitution was held at Khon Kaen University on 31 July 2016.

    Earlier, six people were summoned under the same accusation, including Jatuphat Boonyapatraksa, a well-known pro-democracy activist who was recently released from custody after nearly two weeks of a hunger strike, Duangthip Khanrit and Niranut Niamsap, TLHR staff, and others.

    According to TLHR, Duangthip and Niranut were merely monitoring the 31 July seminar and had no involvement with its organization.
    Up to now, 11 people have been summoned by police for participating in, observing, and organising the talk on the constitution on 31 July.

    Before the talk, Jirawat Sanitchon, Deputy Dean of Khon Kaen University’s Faculty of Agriculture, had attempted to bar the activists from hosting the event, reasoning that the talk could make the institution seem ‘politically biased’.

    After the attempt failed, university staff and local Election Commission of Thailand (ECT) officials filed a complaint to the police against the anti-junta youth activists and other participants at the event, accusing them of trespassing into a public building without permission and violating the controversial Public Referendum Act.


    Thai authorities intervene in a public discussion on the draft constitution organized by the NDM at Khon Kaen University on 31 July 2016

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  4. #4
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    Police press charges against 11 participants of discussion about 2017 Constitution
    Fri, 07/07/2017

    Almost one year after the constitution referendum in 2016, the police have concluded to press charges against 11 people accused of breaking the junta’s political gathering ban for participating in a discussion about the 2017 Constitution.

    On 3 July 2017, the police from Mueang District Police Station of Khon Kaen issued summon orders for 10 people most of whom are youth democracy activists, ordering them to report to the 23rd Military Circle in the province on 11 July after the police concluded to press charges against them and submit the case file to the military prosecutor.

    The 10 are accused of violating the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)’s Head Order No. 3/2015, the junta’s political gathering ban of five or more persons, for participating in the public discussion about the 2017 Constitution called ‘Talk for Freedom’ held at Khon Kaen University on 31 July 2016.

    If found guilty, the 11 could face up to one year in prison, a 20,000 baht fine, or both.

    The 11 are: Cherdchai Tantisirin, former Member of Parliament for the Pheu Thai Party, Panwadee Tantisirin, lecturer in the Nursing Faculty of Khon Kaen University, Rangsiman Rome, key member of the Democracy Restoration Group (DRG), Panupong Sritananuwat and Akhom Sributta, activists from Dao Din Group, Jatuphat ‘Pai Dao Din’ Boonpattararaksa, Narongrit Uppachan, Nattaporn Ajharn, an environmental activist, Duangthip Khanrit and Niranut Niamsap, staff of the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), and another person who requested anonymity.

    Out of the 11, Rangsiman Rome, refused to acknowledge the charge, reasoning that the junta’s order is unlawful.

    The police later allowed the accused to postpone reporting themselves to 31 July as most of them requested so.

    According to TLHR, since the 2014 coup d’état at least 242 people were charged with allegedly violating the junta’s political gathering ban. This does not include 212 people accused of breaching the controversial Referendum Act, which prevented people from criticising the draft 2017 constitution before the referendum on 7 August 2016.


    Thai authorities intervene in a public discussion on the draft constitution organized by the NDM at Khon Kaen University on 31 July 2016
    (file photo)

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  5. #5
    nautical member Mid's Avatar
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    will the madness ever end ?

  6. #6
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    5 students, 3 human rights defenders charged for breaching junta order
    Wed, 18/10/2017

    A military court has accepted a case against eight individuals who participated in seminar last year criticising the junta-backed charter. Three are human rights defenders who came to merely observe the event.

    On 17 October 2017, Khon Kaen Military Court accepted the case against five student activists and three human rights defenders. The eight include five local student activists, Jatuphat Boonpattaraksa, Phanuphong Sithananuwat, Akhom Sibutta, Chadthai Noiunsaen and Narongrit Uppachan; two staff of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), Duangthip Karnrit, Neeranuch Niemsub; and a local activist, Natthaphon Athan.

    Jatuphat, however, who did not show up at the court since he is currently imprisoned for lèse-majesté.

    The eight defendants were charged for violating the NCPO Head Order No. 3/2015, the junta’s ban on public gathering of five people or more, after the student activists held a seminar “Talk for Freedom” to discuss the junta-written charter nearly before the 2016 Constitutional Referendum.

    After accepting the case, the court also approved a custody detention against the defendants but later granted them bail after their lawyer Sasinan Thamnithinan offered the court 10,000 baht as sureties for each individual.

    This is the first case that authorities have ever pressed charges against those merely observing an anti-junta seminar. Duangthip and Neeranuch were at the seminar to observe and record human rights violations. However, they were accused of the same offence as the event’s organizers.



    Security officers disrupted the seminar on 31 July 2016
    (Photo from TLHR)

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  7. #7
    Thailand Lifer Elvis's Avatar
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    Simple Message

    The Junta is saying clear and simple. Dont attend these type of events and then claim to only be there to 'observe', as that defence will not be accepted.

  8. #8
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    Court dismisses anti-activists’ lawsuit against junta
    Mon, 30/10/2017

    The Civil Court has dismissed a lawsuit pro-democracy activists filed against the junta.

    On 30 October 2017, the Civil Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by 13 pro- democracy activists against the military government, according to Matichon Online.

    Most of the 13 are youth activists from the New Democracy Movement and Democracy Restoration Group.

    The group accused the authorities of malfeasance and abuse of human rights in using force in arresting activists and other demonstrators who on 22 May 2015 participated in a peaceful gathering to commemorate the 2014 coup d’état. They are demanding 16.5 million baht in compensation from the three public agencies.

    The court, however, dismissed the lawsuit, reasoning that the security officers did not violate any law in suppressing the gathering, but it was the activists who violated the junta’s political gathering ban.

    Many activists became injured as the soldiers and police officers then surrounded them and dragged them out in order to break the gathering.

    The activists were also detained at Pathumwan Police Station for about 10 hours without being informed of the charges against them.

    The activists filed the lawsuit against the authorities in January 2017.



    Activists commemorating the 2014 coup d'état on 22 May 2015
    (file photo)

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