More on PPT’s Persons of the Year

2 01 2013

As readers know, a couple of days ago, PPT announced our PPT Persons of the Year as being each and every political prisoner who remains locked in a Thai prison. We now want to draw attention to two other blogs that have stories that are relevant to these political prisoners.

First, at Siam Voices, Saksith Saiyasombut writes about lese majeste in 2012 which begins with the headlined notion of “cowardice.” Amongst some excellent points, this one is important:

The chances that the law will be somehow changed (or even just remotely touched by politicians) remain slim as two incidents have shown that it is untouchable: the Constitutional Court rejected a petition by Somyot Pruksakasemsuk and Ekachai Hongkangwan, both currently on trial for lèse majesté, as it does not see the constitutional right to free speech being violated by Article 112 of the Criminal Code. In another story, a bill petition proposing to amend the law – signed by over 30,000 – was dismissed by the speaker of the parliament.

We remain hopeful that brave activists such as those associated with Nitirat can continue the push for change and reform in this area.

Second, The Isaan Record has posted an update on the fate of four red shirt political prisoners from Ubol, now incarcerated in the special prison for red shirts at Laksi. They have languished in jail for two years yet, as the report states:

… the bars of their prison have not been able to keep them completely locked up. Even from within their cells, they continue to fight for their freedom and democracy in Thailand through letters….

The RedFam Fund considers the four to be political prisoners, asserting they have been jailed due to their political beliefs and activism. This resonates within their letters, which hold sentiments not only about their struggle for their release, but also about the need for change in what they believe to be a broken justice system.

One of the prisoners, Teerawat Satsuwan, in a letter to the RedFam Fund, which supports them and their families writes of justice and democracy:

I miss home so much…. But, in the fight, there must always be someone who sacrifices. I am not sad, professor, because I fight for our brothers and sisters. I fight for justice for Thai people. I don’t want anyone to step on the head of the poor, so I fight for democracy so that the poor can receive it.


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