Human rights groups speak against the denial of bail on lese majeste

16 02 2012

PPT has been harping on the point that the denial of bail for several people charged with lese majeste is a rejection of constitutional provisions and amounts to at least additional punishment and could be conceived as a form of torture.

We are pleased to note that several Thai human rights organizations have decided to speak out on exactly this point.

In a statement issued on 15 February 2012, the Human Rights Lawyers Association, Cross Cultural Foundation, Union for Civil Liberty, Environmental Litigation and Advocacy for the Wants, Foundation of Muslim Attorney Centre, Asian Institute for Human Rights, Community Resource Centre, Thai Netizen Network, Center for Child Development and Community Network, and Stateless Watch have deemed that “the right of an alleged offender or an accused to temporary release is a very pertinent issue in the criminal justice process.”

They state that:

1. The right to temporary release is a universal and fundamental right that should be accorded equally to all human beings….

The right to temporary release is prescribed for in Section 40(7) of the 2007 Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand…. The … right to temporary release is a crucially important legal principle established in bother domestic and international laws. It is an obligation for all parties concerned to follow and implement on an equal basis….

2. Any exceptions made against the right to temporary release have to be based on extremely important circumstances and have to be accompanied by objective and credible evidence….

3. The Court is obliged to interpret the law according to the intent of the law and international standards to uphold human rights and the right to temporary release has to be realized in all cases….

4. Section 39 (2) and (3) of the Section 27 of the 2007 Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand primarily upholds the presumed innocence principle.

In concluding, these groups affirm that:

prior to any final judgment … the treatment of the person as if he already committed an offense is not permitted. Therefore, as a result of the denial of bail request, the detention of Mr. Somyot Pruksakasemsuk and other alleged offenders or accused during the trial period together with other convicts whose final judgments have been reached is therefore a breach of the Constitutional provision.

Finally, these human rights organizations recommend that the courts grant Somyos and others in similar circumstances, be granted bail. They make an excellent case.



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