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THAILAND: Human rights defender subjected to judicial harassment

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  • THAILAND: Human rights defender subjected to judicial harassment

    THAILAND: Human rights defender subjected to judicial harassment

  • #2
    Just shows are tough an all out approach to truth and justice is in Thailand.


    • #3
      So...... who is now defending the rights of the abused "human rights defender" in Thailand


      • #4
        Thai army sues human rights activist over torture claim
        Aug 29, 2014

        The Association for the Prevention of Torture has the following blurb on Pornpen Khongkachonkiet:
        Despite growing intimidation from authorities, Pornpen Khongkachonkiet, Director of the Cross Cultural Foundation, continues to assist marginalised communities, especially torture victims and their families in Southern Thailand, to access justice
        BP: So what does the military think of her?

        The Thai Government and the Thai army should immediately stop their abusive resort to criminal defamation laws to silence human rights defenders, said the ICJ, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International today.

        she requested an investigation into allegations that military personnel had seriously beaten a man while arresting him in April 2014.

        She asserted that if the allegations were true, it would be a violation of Thai law and the Convention against Torture, to which Thailand is a party.

        On 8 May 2014, ISOC, the Royal Thai Police, Taharn Pran Paramilitary Unit 41, and others including the doctor who examined the victim of the alleged assault, issued a press release, stating that an investigation had been carried out which had found that the allegation of assault was untrue.

        The press release went on to say that CrCF should be responsible for intentionally distorting the truth and spreading false statements to the public.

        This case is the second instance in the past 12 months of the Thai armed forces misusing the criminal justice system to intimidate human rights defenders working to monitor and document human rights violations.

        for reproducing portions of a Pulitzer Prize-winning article written by the Reuters news agency concerning the alleged smuggling and trafficking of Rohingya people, an ethnic minority group in Myanmar facing systemic discrimination and violence.

        The criminal complaint against Pornpen Khongkachonkiet and CrCF constitutes an attack on their work as human rights defenders and poses a serious threat to the exercise of their right to freedom of expression.

        In addition, the criminal complaint undermines the right of the victim of the alleged ill-treatment to a prompt, independent and impartial investigation into his case, without intimidation, as guaranteed under international law, including human rights treaties to which Thailand is party.

        CrCF is a non-profit, non-governmental, foundation founded in 2002 that has dedicated significant resources to the deep South of Thailand since 2004, including by monitoring and documenting allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, and other serious human rights violations. Pornpen Khongkachonkiet is also a member of the board of AI Thailand.

        ICJ, Human Rights Watch and AI said that the authorities in Thailand have an obligation to ensure that all persons and organizations engaged in the protection and promotion of human rights are able to work in a safe and enabling environment.

        BPhere). Will this now be the standard MO of the military when responding to accusations of torture?

        Amy of Reuters on the criminal defamation suit:
        Criminal defamation suits have a 96 percent conviction rate, said David Streckfuss, an independent scholar based in Thailand, and an expert on its laws designed to protect the monarchy.

        BPhas a link to excerpts of the letter.


        • #5
          Thailand : Army's legal actions aim to silence

          Thai activists say army's legal actions aim to silence rights workers
          (Reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Simon Webb and Clarence Fernandez)
          Thu Aug 28, 2014

          Thai civil society groups voiced concern on Thursday over a criminal defamation and libel action brought by the army against a human rights activist, the latest in a rising number of such cases faced by rights workers and journalists.

          After a military coup on May 22, the Thai army has cracked down vigorously on dissenters, including critics of the monarchy, and is increasingly turning to the criminal defamation law to do so, civil society groups say.

          "The army's action is arbitrary and heavy-handed," said Anucha Wintachai of rights group the Union for Civil Liberties.

          "It highlights what appears to be an increasing number of criminal defamation suits brought against those doing a public service, including rights workers and those in the media."

          On Sunday, human rights activist Pornpen Khongkachonkiet received a criminal defamation and libel summons from an army task force that specializes in the interrogation of suspected insurgents in Thailand's Muslim-dominated southern provinces.

          The army has accused Pornpen of damaging its reputation through the publication of an open letter alleging torture and mistreatment of people detained by the security forces in the south, where a conflict has raged for more than a decade.

          "The legal action against me has had a multi-faceted impact," Pornpen told Reuters in a telephone interview.

          "Victims are scared off from coming forward and speaking to me and it prevents me from doing my work. I understand they want me to stop working. If that's what they want, I can't do it."

          An army official declined to comment on the case when contacted by Reuters. Pornpen is required to report to police on Sept. 14. If found guilty, she could face up to 2 years in prison and a fine of 200,000 baht ($6,000).

          Criminal defamation suits have a 96 percent conviction rate, said David Streckfuss, an independent scholar based in Thailand, and an expert on its laws designed to protect the monarchy.

          Since the coup, General Prayuth Chana-ocha, the coup leader and Thailand's newly appointed prime minister, has repeatedly vowed to prosecute critics of the monarchy under another set of laws, draconian lese-majeste legislation that carries a maximum jail term of 15 years.

          At least 13 new lese-majeste cases have been opened for investigation since the coup, the United Nations rights office said in a statement last week.

          The measures add to a larger pattern of increasing curbs on freedom of expression in Thailand, said Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

          "The army says its reputation is damaged, when actually the effect of these suits is to silence efforts to shed light on potential rights abuses," said Anucha, the member of the Union for Civil Liberties.


          • #6
            Interview with the human rights lawyer facing judicial harassment from the ArmyPornpen Khongkachonkiet, Director of Cross Culteral Foundation
            (Photo curtesy of Deep Sout Watch)

            What have you been doing with the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights? and as director of Cross Cultural Foundation

            Communications gets more difficult. The junta close down many community radio stations in the South. The human rights activities on civil and political rights are limited. However, other training and capacity building activities are still on going.

            Do you think people in the Deep South welcome these changes after the coup?Who has been affected mostly by these changes, resulted from the military coup?What are the effects of Martial Law, the emergency law and ISA in the Deep South?

            Martial Law has given the military tremendous extrajudicial power. The authority does not need to present the warrants in time of arrests. The authority can also hold suspects in custody for 7 days without any legal restriction. The emergency decree is subjected to judicial review on its detention; court warrant is needed and the authority must ask for extension every 7 days maximum 30 days from the court. Both Martial law and ED is enforced in the three provinces; Narathivath, Pattani and Yala.

            However, ISA has no detention power as such except the suspect agreed to go on with the confession and undertaking 6 months training ordering by the court. ISA is only enforced in 4 districts of Songkla not in the three provinces.

            Do you think that the emergency law and ISA are counter-productive and driven more people to join the separatists?Do you think people in the Deep South want the peace dialogue between Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) and the Thai state officials like the one in Febuary last year to be organized again?

            Surely most of them do. People in the Deep South were excited about the peace talk that was held earlier last year. Many were talking about it through local radio stations and on other media.

            When did the torture cases in the Deep South start to intensify?

            It escalated after the unrests in January 2004, when the separatists stole 400 guns from the armory and killed four soldiers in Narathiwat. This incident was then resulted in the violent repercussions from the state in Krue Se and Takbai in the same year. These incidents were followed by the disappearance of Somchai Neelapaijit. He was involved with defending for the torture victims at the beginning . (After these incidents, there has been a day that the gunshot is not heard in this region.-- did i say this??)

            What are the major human rights violations in the restive Deep South?Can you approximate the number of victims of torture?

            Well, many of these cases were not recorded. Our organization only started to record the torture cases in 2007. I believe that arbitrary arrests and tortures and other forms of abuse of power of the authority have been going on for a long time in the Deep South before we have started our work here. The Muslim Attorney Center (MAC) has recorded that there are approximately 300 such cases. We have recorded slightly more than 100 cases and the Human Rights Committees have recorded another 100 cases. There might be some overlapping in these figures, but not much. No matter what, from these figures we know that they are hundreds of cases like this where Muslim people in the Deep South were being tortured and forced to confess. We will keep monitoring that the torture and other form of ill treatment are absolutely prohibited but it was not the case in the Deep South till today.

            You have officially submitted the report on torture in the Deep South to UN CAT committee at the office of the United Nations in Geneva on April 29-1 May 2014. What were the responses of the UN officials?

            The commission had carefully inquired the report in detailed, but there are many questions that there was not been any official statement by the Thai government to the CAT committee.

            The Thai authorities did not know much about what was happening in the Deep South in relation to torture as they denied that torture was not happened so they did not have detail to discuss. So they did not say much of anything when they were asked for more clarifications of torture cases.

            Is it more difficult for you to work in the Deep South after the coup?

            It has become more difficult and also throughout Thailand, there is limited space for civil and political rights activism.

            What do you think about the justice system and human rights violations in Thailand after the coup?

            What do you think? it is deteriorating and difficult to monitor the human rights violations due to lacking of capacity of CSOs and NGOs working on civil and political rights. The military operation is huge and much larger that NGOs communities.

            What do you think would be the most effective solution to the southern conflict?


            • #7
              Thai rights group calls for military jail shutdown

              Thai rights group calls for military jail shutdown
              Max Constant

              Alleged suicide in high-profile lese-majeste case provokes concern over safety, accountability of military detention center system


              • #8
                Thailand: Investigate Alleged Army Torture
                December 3, 2015

                End Detention of Civilians in Military Bases
                Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha arrives at a meeting with his economic cabinet at the Army club in Bangkok, on September 3, 2015.
                Brad Adamslese majesteth Army Circle military base in Bangkok.

                There, Prathin was allowed to have only one brief meeting with his lawyer. He was brought to the meeting room with a hood placed over his head, hands and feet shackled, and accompanied by armed soldiers.
                Brad Adams

                Asia director

                Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists submitted a letter to the Thai government on November 24, raising serious concerns regarding conditions at the 11th Army Circle military base after the recent deaths of fortune teller Suriyan Sucharitpolwong and Police Maj. Prakrom Warunprapa, both charged with lese majeste, during their detention there.

                On the same day, the Southeast Asia Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called for the immediate closure of this detention facility and an independent investigation into these custodial death cases.

                The government has so far denied requests by human rights groups to visit detainees and examine conditions at the 11thThailand


                • #9
                  Thailand: Withdraw charges against human rights defenders


                  • #10
                    Thai human rights activists live in growing fear while fighting legal battles

                    Thai human rights activists live in growing fear while fighting legal battles


                    • #11


                      • #12
                        Thai activists vow to fight defamation charges against military as case continues(From left to right) Somchai Homla-or, Pornpen Khongkachonkiet, and Anchana Heemmina
                        (file photo)



                        • #13
                          Military intimidates human rights defender in Deep South
                          Thu, 06/07/2017

                          Military has intimidated a human rights defender in the restive Deep South, ordering her not to post about human rights violations on Facebook.

                          On 1 July 2017, six men believed to be military officers in plainclothes visited a shop of the family of Anchana Heemmina, president of Duayjai, a local human rights advocacy group in the Deep South, according to the Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF).

                          The men claimed that they are from Internal Security Operation Command Region 4 (ISOC) and said their superior ordered them to visit her because of her recent Facebook posts about a woman whose husband had been arrested and held in custody at the Ingkhayuth Borihan Military Camp in Nong Chik District of Pattani Province for being a suspect in insurgency.

                          The woman who requested to remain anonymous is in nine-month pregnancy told Anchana that it was very difficult for her to get the permission to visit her husband while he was detained, adding that according to the prison rule she was allowed 30 minutes of visiting time, but the soldiers allowed her much lesser visiting time without any reason.

                          Anchana recorded the information and posted it on her Facebook account on 29 June 2017.

                          During the visit which lasted for about one hour, the soldiers claimed that such Facebook post could cause damage to the reputation of the military and prohibited Anchana from posting about the complaint, about the fact that ISOC has not yet withdrawn charges against the three human rights defenders, including Anchana herself even though ISOC promised to do so, and about the alleged abduction of Daho Ma-tawornreport details the inhumane practices against those detained under martial law.

                          Soldiers from Internal Security Operation Command Region 4 visiting Anchana on 1 July 2017
                          (Photo from Anchana Facebook)



                          • #14
                            Prosecutor drops charges against human rights defenders
                            Thu, 02/11/2017

                            The prosecutor of the Deep Southern province Pattani has ended the prosecution of prominent human rights defenders who documented allegations of human rights abuses in the restive Deep South.

                            The region 9 expert public prosecutor, on behalf of the Pattani provincial prosecutor, informed the police of the Muang District Pattani Police Station that the prosecutor decided to drop the charges against three human rights defenders accused of defaming the military, according to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)(From left to right) Somchai Homla-or, Pornpen Khongkachonkiet, and Anchana Heemmina
                            (file photo)



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