Double standards reinforced

19 11 2014

As red shirts remain in jail and as lese majeste victims are jailed on a weekly basis for long sentences, the judiciary under the military dictatorship demonstrates its double standards, as shown in a report at the Bangkok Post.

Some six years ago, People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) guards invaded the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand (NBT) building during protests against the Samak Sundaravej government. The Appeals Court has now slashed a lower court’s jail sentences handed to the occupiers, who are some of a very few PAD thugs who were ever convicted of anything.

Eighty-five men from the so-called Srivichai Warriors occupied the state-owned NBT building on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road in August 2008, as part of protests to topple Samak’s government. They were armed with “guns and knives [and] they damaged assets worth 600,000 baht and used force to prevent two TV news anchors, and others, from broadcasting and forced them to leave the station.”

They were “charged by public prosecutors with criminal association and the assembly of 10 or more people to commit acts causing unrest, among others,” and in late 2010 got jail terms of 6-30 months each.

The Appeals Court miraculously found that they “did not find them guilty of criminal association, saying they had simply followed the PAD’s orders.” Maybe those orders came from even higher authorities? To make the double standards even sharper, the court “found them guilty of trespassing, although public prosecutors had not filed this charge.”

Miraculously (again), the court reduced their sentences to 3-8 months and they walked free after posting bail so that they can appeal once more.



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