AI on Somyos

13 01 2013

Since Benjamin Zawacki, its Thailand-based gatekeeper, left Amnesty International there does seem to have been a change, with AI now issuing “an Urgent Action alert for Somyot Prueksakasemsuk ahead of the verdict in his lèse majesté trial scheduled for 23 January.” Not only that, but it names Somyos a “Prisoner of Conscience.”Free Somyos

Here’s the appeal which asks for action by 23 January and for letters to be sent to various leaders (details are in the link to AI):

UA: 6/13 Index: ASA 39/001/2013 Thailand Date: 11 January 2013


editor at risk of unjust sentence IN THAILAND

Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, a labour activist and editor of the Voice of Taksin, is a prisoner of conscience. He has been detained since April 2011, having been charged in relation to publishing articles deemed critical of Thailand’s monarchy. Authorities have repeatedly turned down his requests for bail.

In May 2012, Somyot Prueksakasemsuk’s trial ended; he is still awaiting the verdict. The court has rescheduled the date for announcing the verdict three times, most recently from 19 December to 23 January 2013.

He was arrested on 30 April 2011, shortly after launching a campaign to gather support for a parliamentary review of Article 112 of the Thai Criminal Code. He was charged and tried under Article 112 which prohibits any word or act which “defames, insults, or threatens the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent, or the Regent”. The charge carries a sentence of up to 15 years’ imprisonment for each offence.

Since 2006, authorities in Thailand have increasingly used Article 112 to silence peaceful dissent. Article 112 violates the right to freedom of expression under international human rights law, as it goes far beyond permissible restrictions of this right. Thailand is party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and is legally bound to uphold the right to freedom of expression.

Please write immediately in Thai, English or your own language:

Expressing concern that Somyot Prueksakasemsuk has been detained on account of his peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression;

Calling for charges against him to be dropped, and for him to be immediately and unconditionally released from detention;

Calling for him to be given redress for the months he has spent in detention and for the authorities to amend Article 112 so that it complies with Thailand’s obligations under international human rights law, and to suspend its use until it has been amended in such a way.



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