Jatuporn and the IPU

16 12 2012

Thanks to the Red Shirts blog, PPT has become aware of the unanimous resolution adopted by the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s Governing Council at its 191st session held in Quebec in late October on Jatuporn Promphan’s loss of parliamentary position. An online version of the resolution is available and it also begins on page 123 of the PDF of the IPU meeting.

The resolution is:

Bearing in mind that Thailand is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and therefore obliged to protect the rights enshrined therein,

  1. Is deeply concerned that Mr. Prompan was disqualified on grounds that appear directly to contravene Thailand’s international human rights obligations;
  2. Considers that, although the Thai Constitution specifically provides for the disenfranchisement of persons “detained by a lawful order” on election day, preventing those accused of a crime from exercising the right to vote is at odds with the provisions of the ICCPR, Article 25 of which guarantees the right to “take part in the conduct of public affairs” and “to vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections” without “unreasonable restrictions”;
  3. Considers in this regard that denying an incumbent member of parliament temporary release from prison to exercise the right to vote is an “unreasonable restriction”, particularly in the light of the ICCPR provisions guaranteeing persons accused of a crime the right to be presumed innocent (Article 14) and “separate treatment appropriate to their status as unconvicted persons” (Article 10(2)(a)); points out that Mr. Prompan’s disqualification also appears to run counter to the spirit of Article 102(4) of the Thai Constitution, which stipulates that only those convicted, not those accused, of a crime lose their right to stand for election once a candidacy has been submitted;
  4. Is likewise concerned that Mr. Prompan’s political party membership was terminated at a time when it had not been established that he had committed any wrongdoing and on account of a speech he had made that appeared to fall clearly within the exercise of his right to freedom of expression, as borne out by the subsequent dismissal of the charge; is also concerned that the courts can rule on the question of party membership when this is first and foremost a private matter between Mr. Prompan and his party and there was no dispute between them on the question;
  5. Sincerely hopes that, in the light of the above, the competent Thai authorities will do everything possible to reconsider Mr. Prompan’s disqualification and ensure that all current legal provisions are in line with the relevant international human rights standards; wishes to ascertain the official views on this point;
  6. Is concerned about the alleged legal basis for and facts adduced to substantiate the charges pending against Mr. Prompan and the possibility that the court may order his return to preventive detention; wishes to receive a copy of the charge sheet and to be informed of the outcome of the next hearing; considers that, in the light of the concerns in the case, it would be useful to explore the possibility of sending a trial observer to the proceedings, and requests the Secretary General to look into the matter;
  7. Is also concerned that Mr. Prompan was prosecuted, sentenced and convicted on charges of defamation; concurs in this regard with the recommendation made by the United Nations Special Rapporteur that defamation should not be considered an offence under criminal law; wishes to ascertain, therefore, whether the Thai authorities are contemplating reviewing the existing legislation with this in mind; wishes to receive a copy of the first-instance rulings and to be kept informed of the appeal proceedings;
  8. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the competent authorities and to the source;
  9. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and to report back to it in due course.

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6 04 2013
Jatuporn and the IPU II | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] PPT posted on the unanimous resolution adopted by the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s Governing Council at its 191st session held in Quebec […]

6 04 2013
Jatuporn and the IPU II | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] PPT posted on the unanimous resolution adopted by the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s Governing Council at its 191st session held in Quebec […]




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