Somyot on trial 23rd of January

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Dear all comrades and friends

Warm greetings from  Free Somyot Campaign! We are here again calling your strong support before the verdict will be announced for somyot case on the 23 Jan 2013. If he is found guilty, it will be 30 years sentences!

We are calling for your continuous  support to endorse this open letter that will be submit to the  Thai authorities on the 17 Jan 2013 to call for Somyot case to be dropped. As he did nothing wrong to uphold freedom of expression as human rights defender. We remain the position that Somyot is innocence and the Lese majeste law  violate freedom of expression in Thailand. Therefore, we call for your organization and any individual   to endorse this letter. Please kindly send   your endorsement by latest  at 12pm < Thailand time> on 16 Jan 2o13. Please send to  this email :  freesomyot@gmail.com

Many thanks again, Siew Hwa, 书华

Malaysia Support Group for Democracy in Thailand, In support of Free Somyot Campaign, 10 Jan 2013

 

Open Letter to:

 

H.E. Yingluck Shinnawatra

Prime Minister

Office of the Prime Minister

Government House

Thanon Phitsanulok, Dusit

Bangkok 10300, Thailand

 

January XX, 2013

Subject: Judicial harassment against Thai human rights defender and editor Somyot Prueksakasemsuk

 

Your Excellency,

 

We, the undersigned individuals and civil society organizations in Thailand and around the world, write to you once again to urge Thailand to respect international human rights law and protect freedom of expression by ending the judicial harassment against Somyot Prueksakasemsuk and securing his unconditional release at the earliest instance. A father of two, Somyot has already been in remand detention for 21 consecutive months on the so-called “lese majeste” charges, for having published two satirical political commentaries in a magazine he edited.

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention considers Somyot's detention to be arbitrary and in violation of international law, and has called for his release. Thai academics, activists, families of those affected by the lese majeste law, and colleagues of Somyot’s have repeatedly called for Somyot’s release.We also wish to stress that the constant denial of his right to bail- 12 time so far – is inconsistent with the principle of presumption of innocence. The  Royal Thai Government should respect the constitutional provisions granting the right to bail, in accordance with international fair trial standards’

The chorus of domestic opposition to the abuse of the lese majeste law is growing by the day and the handling of Somyot’s case is a crucial litmus test of the Royal Thai Government’s commitment to the rule of law and democratic principles.

A verdict on Somyot’s trial is expected to be delivered by the Criminal Court on January 23, 2013. We believe that he should not have been charged in the first place. Somyot’s right to freedom of expression, regardless of his political opinion, is protected both by the Constitution and by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which is binding on Thailand. Whether the two articles on which the charges against Somyot were based constitute criminal offence is also highly questionable. Rather than witch-hunting political opponents, ensuring an open and free space for discussion of politics and other issues of public interests reduces social tension and contributes to a national reconciliation.

Criminalizing political speech and persecuting an editor who was not the author does not reflect the commitment to human rights Thailand has often professed on the international stage, especially as a country that plans to seek a seat on the UN Security Council and is a member of the Human Rights Council. Once upon a time, Thailand claimed to be a democracy and was in fact considered as one of the most progressive countries within ASEAN, but the abuse of restrictive legislations to criminalize citizens like Somyot has since undermined Thailand’s credibility and its efforts to distinguish itself from authoritarian regimes in the region.

We remain hopeful that the Royal Thai Government still attaches importance to human rights and can end unjust actions against its citizens. We therefore respectfully call upon your administration and all organs of the Government to take all appropriate steps to ensure that Somyot’s arbitrary detention ends immediately and that he is able to exercise peacefully his fundamental human rights, without reprisals of any kind, including at the judicial level.

Thank you for your serious consideration of our concerns and recommendations. We look forward to your response and actions in favor of freedom of expression. 

Sincerely yours,

 

XXXX

 

It can also be emailed to:

2) The Secretariat of the Prime Minister
Government House, Thanon Pissanulok,

Dusit, Bangkok Tel.: 0 2280 3000
E-mail : webmaster@thaigov.go.th

 

3) The Secretariat of the Cabinet
Thanon Nakhon Pathom,

Bangkok Tel.: 0 2280 9000
E-mail : soc@soc.go.th

 

Copied to:

 

H.E.  Mr. Pracha Promnok

Minister of Justice

22nd Floor Software Park Building

Chaeng Wattana Road

Pakkred, Nonthaburi 11120, Thailand

Fax: +66 2 650 9340 / 2 502 6734 / 2 502 6884

E-mail: om@moj.go.th , secretary@moij.go.th

 

H.E. Mr. Surapong Tovichakchaikul

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand

443 Sri Ayudhya Road

Bangkok 10200, Thailand

Fax: +66 2 643 5320 / 2 643 5314 / 2 643 5272

Email: minister@mfa.go.th, thaiinfo@mfa.go.th, permsec@mfa.go.th

 

Mr. Jullasingha Wasantasingha

Attorney General

Office of the Attorney General

Lukmuang Building, Nahuppei Road

Prabraromrachawang, Pranakorn

Bangkok 10200, Thailand

Fax: +66 2 224 0162 / 1448 / 221 0858

E-mail: ag@ago.go.th  oag@ago.go.th

 

Mr. Pairoj Wayuparp

The President of the Supreme Court of Justice of Thailand

6 Ratchadamnoen Nai Road,

Prabarommaharatchawang, Phranakorn,

Bangkok 10200, Thailand

Fax: 02-1434308; +66 2226-4389

Email: opsc@coj.go.th

 

Mr. Tavee Prajuablarp

Chief Judge of the Criminal Court of Thailand

Radchada Pisek Road, Jormpon Sub-District, Jatujak District

Bangkok 10900, Thailand

Fax.+66 2541 2141

 

H.E. Mr. Thani Thongphakdi

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Permanent Representative

Permanent Mission of Thailand to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva

Rue Gustave Moynier 5

1202 Geneva, Switzerland

Fax: +41 22 715 10 00 , +41 22 715 10 02

Email: mission.thailand@ties.itu.int

 

H.E. Mr. Norachit Sinhaseni

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Permanent Representative

Permanent Mission of Thailand to the United Nations in New York

351 East 52nd Street

New York, N.Y. 10022, USA

Fax: +1 212 688 3029

E-mail: thailand@un.int

 

Dr. Seree Nonthasoot

Thailand’s Representative to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)

Email: sernon@gmail.com

 

Professor Amara Pongsapich

Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand

120 Chaengwattana Road, Laksi District

Bangkok 10210, Thailand

Fax. +66 2 141 3900

Email: amara@nhrc.or.th, interhr@nhrc.or.th, help@nhrc.or.th

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