Tai’s hunger protest for Somyos

12 02 2012

The hunger protest by Panitan Prueksakasemsuk or Tai for his father, Somyos, jailed on lese majeste charges, is getting some media attention.

At The Nation it is reported that 24 year-old Tai decided on this action after his father was refused bail seven times.

His action, in front of the Criminal Court on Ratchadaphisek Road is “a bid to raise awareness of the importance of a detainee’s right to bail.”

In fact, under Section 40 of the 2007 constitution, a person has specified rights in judicial processes. These include:

… 2) fundamental rights in judicial process composing of, at least, right to public trial; right to be informed of and to examine into facts and related documents adequately; right to present facts, defences and evidences in the case; right to object the partial judges; right to be considered by the full bench of judges; and right to be informed of justifications given in the judgement or order;…

3) right to correct, prompt and fair trial;…

7) an alleged offender and the accused in criminal case shall have the right to correct, prompt and fair investigation or trial with an adequate opportunity in defending his case, the right to examine or to be informed of evidence, right to defend himself through counsel and the right to bail….

Arguably, those charged with lese majeste are denied one or more of these provisions. Indeed, in the case of Darunee Charnchoensilpakul, a closed trial was initially held and demonstrating that both lese majeste and the judiciary are political tools, later ruled to be constitutional.

Tai argues that his father “ought to be granted bail if he is to have a fair chance of fighting the lese-majeste charge.” He also points out that people on charges that carry the death penalty are granted bail.

At the Bangkok Post, Tai’s 112-hour famine is reported to have begun with about 30 students from Thammasat showing their support for his cause.

After his hunger strike ends, Tai plans to “file a petition with the Justice Ministry, seeking temporary release on bail for his father.”


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