Mr. Don Pramudwinai,

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand,

Fax: +66 (0) 2 643 5320;

Email: [email protected]

 

Dear  Don Pramudwinai,

 

I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human rights defender and Freelance journalist.

I am writing to voice my deep concern about the judicial harassment of Mr. Anon Nampa, a human rights lawyer working with Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) since 2014. Mr. Anon is the lawyer of Mr. Thanakorn Siriphaiboon, who has been charged with violating Article 112 of the Criminal Code (lèse-majesté), Article 116 of the Criminal Code (sedition), and the 2007 Computer Crimes Act for having shared information about alleged corruption in the construction of the Rajabhakti Park, and for having ‘liked’ a Facebook post deemed insulting to King Rama IX’s dog.

 

According to the information received form the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), on October 2, 2018, the Bangkok Military Court issued a summons dated September 25, 2018 for Mr. Anon to be investigated for disseminating on the TLHR website a statement from a prosecution witness, Pol. Maj. Gen. Wijarn Jodtaeng, without the permission of the same military court in relation to Mr. Thanakorn’s case. If convicted under Article 30 of the Civil Procedure Code (‘contempt of court’), Mr. Anon could face up to six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine of 500 Baht (approximately 13,50 Euros).

 

On October 3, 2018, the Bangkok Military Court argued that the public dissemination of the testimony could negatively impact the case and asked Mr. Anon to ask TLHR to delete the content published on their website within 24 hours. The Court also banned any other individual or organisation from publishing witness testimonies related to the case in the media, and indicated that this would be considered contempt of court. 

 

On October 4, 2018, Mr. Anon submitted a motion to revoke the Bangkok Military Court’s order, arguing that Mr. Thanakorn’s trial should be conducted publicly, as provided for under Article 172 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the 2017 Constitution, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Mr. Anon added that TLHR’s publication did not distort the military officer’s testimony and did not directly disseminate any military court documents.

 

On October 5, 2018, the Bangkok Military Court dismissed the motion arguing that the case was still pending, and that publishing the witness testimonies could have a negative influence on society.

 

On October 8, 2018, Mr. Anon submitted an appeal to the Bangkok Military Court’s decision from October 5, on the grounds that the dismissed motion order had violated Mr. Thanakorn’s right to a fair trial and the performance of his duties as a lawyer.

Mr. Anon dedicates his efforts to providing legal aid to those facing politically motivated charges. He is facing another 10 legal cases against him (among others for sedition under Article 116 of the Criminal Code and insulting a court under Article 198 of the Criminal Code). Three of the cases have concluded, while eight are still ongoing. Two cases are being tried in military court for violations of National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Order 3/2015.

 

I condemn the judicial harassment of Mr. Anon and considers that this investigation over the dissemination of a witness’ testimony is emblematic of the violations of the right to a fair trial of the accused and of the continuous judicial harassment of human rights lawyers in Thailand.

 

I urge the Thai authorities to end all acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Mr. Anon, as these acts seem to be only aimed at punishing him for his legitimate human rights activities.

 

Actions requested:

 i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Anon Nampa and of all human rights defenders in Thailand;


ii.  Put an end to all forms of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Mr. Anon Nampa and all human rights defenders in the country and ensure in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate activities without any hindrance or fear of reprisals;


iii. 
Guarantee in all circumstances the right to a fair trial of accused persons;


iv. Conform to the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, in particular with Articles 1, 5(a), and 12.2;

 

v. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments to which Thailand is a state party.

 

Please inform me of any actions that may be taken with regard to the above case.

Yours sincerely,

William Nicholas Gomes
Journalist and Human Rights Activist
@wnicholasgomes
York, United Kingdom

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.