Human rights lawyer faces several charges

24 10 2016

Readers will be aware that lawyer Sirikan Charoensiri has been the subject of a concerted police campaign, which human rights organizations say include “the specious accusation of sedition, which apparently relate to her organization’s representation of 14 student activists peacefully protesting in June 2015…”.

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With the country in compulsory mourning for the dead king, the police remained hard at “work” harassing Sirikan. The Chiangrai Times reports that, on Saturday, the police filed criminal charges against Sirikan. Political repression cannot be reduced for the king’s death.

The filing of the charges was witnessed by representatives of the European Union and officials of European embassies at Bangkok’s Samranrat police station.

Sirikan works with Thai Lawyers for Human Rights and “was charged with illegal political assembly of more than five people, incitement of unrest and resistance of the state among the people for her role in providing legal assistance to political activists deemed to be critical of the Monarchy.”

The last bit seems a little odd and we take it as descriptive, for Sirikan’s Facebook page states: “Charged with sedition & violating junta’s ban on political gathering for my legal representation to activists. If indicted, the trial will be processed in military court.”

These charges stem from Sirikarn’s observation of a rally on 25 June 2015 at the “Democracy Monument on Rajdamnoen road by the so-called New Democracy Movement.”

Earlier, on “May 12, 2016, Ms Sirikarn was charged with concealing evidence and resisting police order in accordance with Sections 142 and 368 of the Criminal Code, for refusing to allow the police to search her car without a warrant in order to seize 14 smart phones belonging to 14 students of the New Democracy Movement before they were escorted into prison.” The police then stole her car until they had a warrant.

If found guilty, “Sirikan could face a punishment of up to to five years in prison and a fine of up to 10,000 baht…”.


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