Suwicha Thakor sentenced to 10 years jail

3 04 2009

The Nation (3 April 2009) reports that Suwicha Thakor has been convicted and sentenced to a long jail term: “The Criminal Court Friday sentenced a man to ten year imprisonment for posting a picture deemed insulting the monarchy on a website. Initially, Suwicha Thakho was sentenced to be jailed for 20 years but the court commuted the jail term by half after he pleaded guilty. He was charged with violating Article 112 of the Criminal Code and violating the computer crime act.”

This is a remarkably heavy penalty.

Reuters report here; Earth Times report here; Irrawaddy here; BBC here.  Ji Ungpakorn also has posted a commentary on this case and more. สำหรับภาษาไทย ดู ประชาไท: “ศาลตัดสินจำคุก 10 ปี “สุวิชา ท่าค้อ” ตามมาตรา 112″

As PPT reported a few days ago, Suwicha only recently pleaded guilty. Earlier Thai Netizen reported: “This will be the first verdict against Internet user under Computer Crime Act 2007 which related to act against national security. The accusation based on serious charges related to three major laws;
  1. 2007 Constitution Article 8, 9 Section 8. The King shall be enthroned in a position of revered worship and shall not be violated.No person shall expose the King to any sort of accusation or action.Section 9. The King is a Buddhist and Upholder of religions.
  2. Penal Code Article 33, 83,91,112 Section 112. Whoever defames, insult or threatens the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent, shall be punished with imprisonment of three to fifteen years. Section 33 For the forfeiture of a property, the Court shall besides having the power to forfeit under the law as specially provided for that purpose, have the power to forfeit the following properties also, namely:(1) a property used or possessed for use in the commission of an offence by a person; or (2) a property acquired by a person through the commission of an offence. Unless such property belongs to the other person who does not convince at the commission of the offence.Section 83 In case of any offence is accrued by commission of the person as from two persons upwards, such accomplishes deemed to be principals shall be punished as provided by the law for such offence.Section 91 If it appears that any offender has committed the several distinct and different offences, the Court may inflict upon such offender the punishment prescribed for each offence. But, whether there shall be increase of the punishment, reduction of the punishment or reduction in the scale of the punishment, or not, the total punishment of every offence must not exceed the following determination:(1) ten years in case of the severest offence to have the rate of the maximum punishment of imprisonment not exceeding three years;(2) twenty years in case of the severest offence to have the rate of the maximum punishment of imprisonment exceeding three years upwards, but not more than ten years;(3) fifty years in case of the severest offence to have the rate of the maximum punishment of imprisonment exceeding three years upwards, unless in the case where the Court inflicts upon the offender the punishment of imprisonment for life.
  3. Computer-Related Crime Act 2007 Article 3, 14, 1. click here to download.
  4. Sections 14(1), 14(3), 14(5) of the 2007 Computer Crime Act, which pertain to crimes which “involve import to a computer system of forged computer data, either in whole or in part, or false computer data, in a manner that is likely to cause damage to that third party or the public; that involves import to a computer system of any computer data related with an offence against the Kingdom’s security under the Criminal Code; that involves the dissemination or forwarding of computer data already known to be computer data [which are illegal].”
PPT urges protests against the use of these draconian laws and Suwicha’s harsh sentence:

1. Write a letter  to the Prime Minister of Thailand, Abhisit Vejjajiva, Government House, Bangkok, Thailand. Fax number +66(0)29727751.

2. Write a letter of concern to the Ambassador, The Royal Thai Embassy, in your country of residence about Suwicha’s case.

3. Write to your local member of parliament and your minister for foreign affairs, drawing their attention to the lèse-majesté law in Thailand and Suwicha’s case.

4. Urge Amnesty International internationally and your local branch to take up Suwicha’s case and others charged under the draconian laws covering the monarchy and cyberspace.

5. Contact Human Rights Watch Asia about Suwicha’s case .



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