Jatuporn and the IPU II

6 04 2013

Thanks to a reader for pointing out Robert Amsterdam’s blog post regarding the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s continuing interest in the disqualification of red shirt leader Jatuporn Prompan from his parliamentary position.Jatuporn_prison

Earlier, PPT posted on the unanimous resolution adopted by the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s Governing Council at its 191st session held in Quebec in late October 2012 on Jatuporn’s loss of parliamentary position. An online version of the resolution is available and it also begins on page 123 of the PDF of the IPU meeting.

Amsterdam refers to the new IPU statement as an “historic resolution” and notes that at:

most recent summit in Ecuador, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) – a body which has permanent observer status at the UN and which is considered by the UN to be the leading international organisation for parliaments – has issued an historic resolution condemning the unlawful disqualification of Thai Member of Parliament Jatuporn Prompran.

This refers to a meeting of the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians on 22-27 March 2013 and its resulting decisions that go to the IPU’s Governing Council as draft resolutions. The IPU Decision (the link is fixed and clicking downloads a large PDF, with Jatuporn’s case beginning at page 50) states, inter alia, that it considers:

that, although the Thai Constitution specifically provides for the disenfranchisement of persons “detained by a lawful order” on election day, preventing those accused of a crime from exercising the right to vote is at odds with the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 25 of which guarantees the right to “take part in the conduct of public affairs” and “to vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections” without “unreasonable restrictions”;

… in this regard that denying an incumbent member of parliament temporary release from prison to exercise the right to vote is an “unreasonable restriction”, particularly in the light of the Covenant’s provisions guaranteeing persons accused of a crime the right to be presumed innocent (Article 14) and “separate treatment appropriate to their status as unconvicted persons” (Article 10(2)(a)); points out that Mr. Prompan’s disqualification also appears to run counter to the spirit of Article 102(4) of the Thai Constitution, which stipulates that only those convicted, not those accused, of a crime lose their right to stand for election once a candidacy has been submitted….

In addition, the draft resolution notes the circumstances of Jatuporn’s arrest and jailing, with the implicit view that it was a contrived case by Army and judiciary:

On 10 April 2011, Mr. Jatuporn took the stage during the commemoration organized at the Democracy Monument in Bangkok to mark the first anniversary of the government’s response to the Red Shirt demonstrations; in his speech, he criticized the then government and the Royal Thai Army for using the pretext of “protecting the monarchy” to criminalize the Red Shirt movement and kill its members the year before; Mr. Jatuporn also criticized the Constitutional Court for sparing the Democrat Party from dissolution, making reference to leaked video recordings that showed some of the justices colluding with party officials; following this, representatives of the Royal Thai Army filed a complaint alleging that Mr. Jatuporn had committed lese-majesty in his speech; the Department of Special Investigations (DSI) asked the Criminal Court to revoke his bail following the complaint, which it did on 12 May 2011; Mr. Jatuporn was subsequently held in Bangkok Remand Prison until 2 August 2011; the DSI subsequently dismissed the charge and the case was referred to the Office of the Attorney General for consideration on 17 January 2012….

In making its draft resolution, the IPU committee refers to a letter from the Secretary General of the House of Representatives in Thailand and “[r]eaffirms its [the committee’s] view that the letter does not dispel its concerns that Mr. Jatuporn was disqualified on grounds that appear directly to contravene Thailand’s international human rights obligations…”.



2 responses

20 07 2017
“Election” readiness | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] and organizer. They have jailed him several times in recent years, overturned election results to keep him out of parliament and more. Yet red shirts also remain […]

20 07 2017
“Election” readiness | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] and organizer. They have jailed him several times in recent years, overturned election results to keep him out of parliament and more. Yet red shirts also remain […]

%d bloggers like this: