The judiciary damned

25 01 2013

It is reported that several dozen protesters came together on Friday to burn “mock law textbooks in front of the Criminal Court in protest against the prison sentence given to Somyot Prueksakasensuk…”, sentenced to 11 years in jail, after being convicted on lese majeste charges. The authorities, including court officials filmed the protest, and the courts have repeatedly stated that they will charge those who “unfairly” criticize the court’s decisions.

A Bangkok Post picture

A Bangkok Post picture

Another group visited Somyos at the Bangkok Remand Prison.

The court protesters was a diverse group that broadly protested Article 112 and pointed to its heinous impact on rule of law, freedom of expression and constitutional and international rights. “The burning of mock textbooks, mainly relating to the rights of the innocent, bail and free speech … [was] in front of a large crowd of local and international media.”

Statements “cited the previous case of Daranee Charncherngsilapakul, saying she was given an unconstitutional secret trial and then sentenced to 15 years in prison, and also Thantawut Taveevarodom, who was sentenced to 13 years, and Ampon Tangnoppakul, or Uncle SMS, who was sent to prison for 20 years and died not long after in a prison hospital in May last year.”

The report also refers to “18 organisations hav[ing] staged [a] protest against the 10-year sentence for Somyot, in front of the Thai embassy in Seoul, South Korea.”

It is clear that the judiciary, in its role as protector of the monarchy, is destroying the foundations of the legal system. Article 112 undermines the limited credibility it still has.



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