Ayrault, Yingluck and the political prisoners

1 02 2013

A reader sends us a translation regarding a forthcoming visit to Thailand by  the French prime minister, with some PPT editing:

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Yingluck Shinawatra and the political prisonersAyrault

An article written by Pascal Engelmajer

The French Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, will visit Thailand on the 4 and 5 February to meet with his counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra.

The two prime ministers will meet on February 5 to discuss trade, investment, and of course cooperation in various fields. In this type of exchange, unfortunately, human rights has only a little importance.

The visit of Jean-Marc Ayrault follows the one Yingluck Shinawatra to Paris last July. On that occasion she was interviewed by the French Newspaper “Le Figaro”:

– Le Figaro – In Thailand, the lèse-majesté law is one of the most repressive in the world: 33 people were charged in 2005 and more than 400 in 2011. Should it be amended?

– Yingluck Shinawatra – The problem is not the law, but its misuse. We must ensure that this law will no longer be used for political purposes.

An answer that is not a real one. The passivity of the Thai Prime Minister, since it affects the royalty or rather those who act on its behalf, is as usual.

During a meeting between Thai Prime Minister Yingluck and French president François Hollande, no-one said anything in favor of democracy and freedom in Thailand. Neither the French Head of State nor his prime minister mentioned the unbearable situation of the political prisoners in Thailand.

What will Jean-Marc Ayrault, the defender of human rights, do to protect those whose fundamental right of freedom and expression in Thailand is proven to be violated and about the case of Somyot Prueksakasemsuk in particular?

The French Prime Minister will also meet the French community in Thailand on 5 February. I hope that some of them will have the courage to remind him that in an article published on the occasion of the death of Raymond Aubrac (a famous French resistant during the WW II), Jean-Marc Ayrault wrote: “Resistance is a state of mind, a set of values. Now let us be worthy of this commitment, worthy of those who fought, gave their lives for the honor of their country and hold high values of universal human rights.”

The live up to his words today, to honor those who fought for the honor of their country and flew the universal values ​​of human rights, the representative of France must apply them to those languishing in dungeons of feudal Thailand.

The French Prime Minister should also go to the Thammasat University, which saw the massacre of the leftist students the 6 October 1976. Then he would meet some of the seven Thammasat University academics of the Nitirat group that began in late January 2012 to collect signatures to apply for a change of the law that protects the monarchy. Will he meet intellectuals like the historian Somsak Jeamteerasakul who was threatened for having proposed a conference in December 2010 to change the role of the monarchy?

If Jean-Marc Ayrault wants to keep the image of the defender of freedoms he claims to be, then he will not forget to recall the position of the European Union and insist in front of the Thai government that the current Thai law [on lese majeste] is against the right to freedom of expression recognized by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Thailand has ratified in 1996.


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