UDD, Somyos and amnesty

16 02 2013

The Red shirts blog has two recent posts of interest.

From Red Shirts blog

From Red Shirts blog

The first discusses amnesty. When the mainstream media is reporting (long existing and well-known) splits in the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship over leadership, the UDD itself speaks of unity on “the necessity of amnesty for political prisoners…”. For the official red shirts, amnesty means “for political prisoners of all colours, with the exception of rally leaders…”. Jatuporn Promphan stated: “Our brothers and sisters have been stuck in Laksi prison for too long. We must not be selfish and prioritise our own success over their release.” Thida Tawornsate Tojirakarn stated that “amnesty is imperative. We need to continue this struggle until there is genuine democracy in Thailand. We also need to grow stronger as a movement, although the elites would not like us to.”

The second post is about lese majeste political prisoner Somyos Prueksakasemsuk. As is his style, Somyos is said to remain determined to fight the conviction, despite having spent almost two years in jail already. As he and his lawyers have repeatedly demanded, in order to defend himself, Somyos needs adequate access to his lawyers. The state, by keeping him locked up, prevents Somyos from receiving his Section 40 constitutional right to adequate, unimpeded and proper legal representation.

Having had 13 bail requests rejected, Somyos continues to fight for rights. Long ago the UN’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention declared his detention as being in contravention of Articles 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and 19 (2) of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, stating that his detention is arbitrary.

Somyos says: “They keep denying me bail on the basis that I might flee the country. I have every intention to fight my case to the end, but I can’t do it behind bars.”

 


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