Chiranuch should not be in the dock

13 02 2011

Andrew Buncombe, Asia Correspondent for The Independent, has a story on Chiranuch Premchaiporn’s case. Like other reports, it begins with a comment that the “case … is being seen as test of the country’s questionable commitment to free speech as well as an examination of its controversial ‘lese majeste’ laws…”.

PPT has pointed out that this high-profile case, while very important, is not necessarily exactly the test case it is claimed. It is certainly the one with the highest profile.And, it is the only case amongst hundreds of political cases that seems to have roused a remarkably somnolent Amnesty International in Thailand.  Benjamin Zawacki, a regional spokesman for AI has now stated: “Chiranuch should not be in the dock…. The comments for which she is being held responsible should not be prohibited in the first place, much less when they are posted by someone else.”

Now AI needs to take up the other cases of lese majeste and political crimes and make those test cases too.

After all, as the report citing Zawacki makes clear, “[e]xperts say the laws have been increasingly invoked, and often to prosecute dissidents or members of the political opposition. Several leaders of the anti-government Red Shirt movement have pursued using lese majeste legislation and writers and journalists have been jailed.”

Tyrell Haberkorn, a research fellow at the Australian National University, is cited on the impact of lese majeste repression: “The effect of this is incredibly chilling. This is sending a message that no matter where you write, be it online, be it on Facebook, then the state is paying attention.”



One response

13 02 2011
Tweets that mention Chiranuch should not be in the dock | Political Prisoners in Thailand --

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by NEWSpace, อิสระภาพ แห่งข่าวสาร. อิสระภาพ แห่งข่าวสาร said: Chiranuch should not be in the dock: Andrew Buncombe, Asia Correspondent for The Independent, has a story on Chi… […]

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