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Student protests: UN, EU slam charges against students

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After Thursday's protests at Democracy Monument students charged with national security offense to be tried by military court behind closed doors with no right of appeal with possible seven years in jail.

Student protests at Democracy Monument on June 25, 2015. Inset: Protests outside US Consulate in Chiang Mai.


UN, EU slam charges against students

AFP and online reporters

The UN Human Rights Office for South East Asia has urged the government to promptly drop criminal charges against the 14 pro-democracy students while the European Union (EU) described their arrest and prosecution in a military court as a "disturbing development".

The students were detained on Friday after holding a protest at Bangkok's Democracy Monument the previous day and charged with sedition, a national security offence that carries up to seven years in jail.

Their case is being handled by a military court which usually holds hearings behind closed doors and to which there is no right of appeal once convicted.

The students can be held by police for up to 84 days in pre-trial detention, although their incarceration must be renewed every 12 days by a court with the next hearing at Bangkok's military court expected on July 8.

The junta has defended the move, saying its action is justified based on one of its orders and important to maintain peace.


Authorities also claimed the students were not acting on their own free will but were misled, supported or paid to do so by "a group of people" whom they claim to know but refuse to reveal their identities.

Sirikan Charoensiri, one of a team of lawyers representing the students, said the students were refusing to request bail in protest at being tried in a military court.

"They reject the military court's jurisdiction," she told AFP, adding they have remained "in good spirits" since their arrest.

"It's really quite serious to charge peaceful protesters with sedition. Their activities were entirely peaceful," she added.

Rights groups have described the arrests as a serious escalation in repression by the junta.

Charles Santiago, a Malaysian lawmaker and the chairman of the Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights, described the arrests as a "disgrace"

"There's no legitimacy left for a regime that bullies and arrests peaceful students for doing nothing more than standing up for their rights," he said in a recent statement.

Students and pro-democracy people post notes giving moral support to the 14 detained students at a board in Thammasat University on June 28, 2015. The 'Post-it for Friends' activity was held by a students' group calling themselves the Liberal League of Thammasat for Democracy. (Photo by Thanarak Khunton)


The generals claim the May 2014 coup was essential to restore order after months of often violent protests against the elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra.

But opponents say it was the latest manoeuvre by Bangkok-based royalist elites, backed by large swathes of the military, to scupper democracy and protect their interests.

Student activists gather on the bridge near the US Consulate in Chiang Mai to call for the release of the 14 students arrested on Friday for violating the ban on political gatherings in Bangkok. The students, wearing masks, hold signs demanding peaceful outcomes for political situations. (THITI WANNAMONTHA)

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activist : someone who takes part in activities that are intended to achieve political or social change, especially someone who is a member of an organisation - นักกิจกรรม

activity (noun): a thing that you do for work, interest or pleasure, or in order to achieve a particular aim - กิจกรรม

adj (noun): connected with soldiers or the armed forces - ในทางทหาร,เกี่ยวกับทหาร

appeal : a request to a court to change a decision by a lower court - อุทธรณ์

arrest : (of the police or, in this case, soldiers) to take someone under control because they are believed to have committed a crime - จับกุม

authority (noun): a person or government agency who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ

back : to support - ให้การสนับสนุน

bail : money that is given to a court when someone is allowed to stay out of prison until their trial. If they do not return for the trial, the court keeps the money  - เงินประกัน; การประกันตัว

ban : an official statement ordering people not to do, sell or use something - การห้าม

based : living or working in a particular placed; located in a particular place - อาศัย

based on (verb): information or facts used to make a story, calculation, judgement or decision - ตั้งอยู่บน,ยึดเป็นหลัก

bully : to use your influence or status to threaten or frighten someone in order to get what you want - รังแก

case : a matter that is being officially investigated or heard by a court - คดี

chairman : the person in charge of a committee, a company, etc - ประธาน

charge  : an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime - ข้อกล่าวหา

claim (noun): saying that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - ข้ออ้าง ข้อกล่าวหา

consulate : the building where a government official works who is sent to live in another country and look after his/her own country’s citizens and business interests there - สถานกงสุล

convicted : proven in a court of law to have committed a crime - การกระทำผิดกฎหมาย

coup : the seizure of power in a country by a group of people, usually members of the armed forces - รัฐประหาร

court : the place where legal trials take place and where crimes, etc. are judged - ศาล

criminal : relating to illegal acts - เกี่ยวกับอาชญากรรม

defend : to say things to support someone or something - ปกป้อง

demand : a very firm request for something - ข้อเรียกร้อง, การเรียกร้อง

detained : kept in a place and not allowed to leave - กักตัว ควบคุมตัวหรือฝากขัง

detention (noun): forced to stay in a place - การกักตัว

development : a new event or stage that is likely to affect what happens in a continuing situation - ความคืบหน้า

disgrace : something that is extremely bad or shocking - น่าสยดสยอง, ความเสื่อมเสีย, ความอัปยศ, การขายหน้า

disturbing : making you feel extremely worried or upset - ที่ขุ่นเคืองใจ

drop (verb): to stop doing something; to end an activity or programme - เลิก, ยกเลิก, หยุด

elect (v) : - การเลือกตั้ง

elite : the richest, most powerful, best educated or most highly trained group in a society - คนที่มีอภิสิทธิ์ที่สุด

essential : necessary - ที่จำเป็น

expect (verb): to think or believe that something will happen or that somebody will do something - คาด, คาดว่า, คาดการณ์

gathering : an occasion when many people come together as a group - การรวมตัว, การประชุม

general (noun): an officer of very high rank in the army, the air force, the marines or the police - พลเอก, นายพล

handle : to be able deal with a situation - ควบคุมได้, จัดการได้

human rights : the basic rights which it is generally considered all people should have, such as justice and the freedom to say what you think - สิทธิมนุษยชน

identity (noun): who someone is; what something is - เอกลักษณ์, ลักษณะพิเศษ, ลักษณะเฉพาะ

in good spirits : happy, cheerful -

incarceration : detention; being forced to stay in a jail or prison; forced officially to stay in a place - การกักตัว

interest : an advantage or benefit to someone or something - ผลประโยชน์

junta : a group of military officers that governs a country, usually without having been elected - รัฐบาลทหาร

jurisdiction : a country or area in which a particular legal system operates - ขอบเขตอำนาจที่ศาลและกฏหมายควบคุมไปถึง

justified : showing that there is good reason for something - มีเหตุผลที่ดีพอ

latest (adj): newest; most recent - ] ล่าสุด, See also: ทันสมัยที่สุด, เกิดหลังสุด

lawmaker : a person in government who makes the laws of a country - ผู้บัญญัติกฎหมาย

lawyer : an attorney - ทนาย

legitimacy : that fact that something is legal; the fact that something is fair and reasonable - ถูกต้องตามกฎหมาย ความชอบธรรม

maintain (verb): to keep something at the same level or state and not change it -

manoeuvres : actions - ท่าทาง

mask : something that you wear to cover part or all of your face in order to hide who you are, for protection or for decoration - หน้ากาก, เครื่องปิดหน้า

monument (noun): a statue or building that is built to honour a special person or event - อนุสาวรีย์ หรืออนุสรณ์สถาน

move (noun): action -

national security : the protection or the safety of a country’s secrets and its citizens - การรักษาความมั่นคงแห่ง่ชาติ

offence : a crime or illegal activity for which there is a punishment - การกระทำผิดกฎหมาย

opponent : someone who disagrees with you or who is competing against you - ผู้ไม่เห็นด้วยกับ, ฝ่ายตรงข้าม

order (noun): something that somebody is told to do by somebody in authority - คำสั่ง

outcome : a result - ผล

parliamentarian : a member of parliament - สมาชิกรัฐสภา

peace : a calm and quiet situation without any violence - สงบ, ซึ่งมีระเบียบ, เงียบสงบ

peaceful (adj): calm and quiet and not involving any violence - สงบ, ซึ่งมีระเบียบ, เงียบสงบ

pre- : before -

previous : happening or existing before the event or object that you are talking about - แต่ก่อน, เมื่อก่อน

pro- : supporting some issue, being for something, opposite of "anti-" -

promptly : in an immediate or quick way - ทันที

prosecution : the person or organisation that tries to prove in court that someone has committed a crime - อัยการ

protect : to make sure that somebody/something is not harmed, injured, damaged, etc - ป้องกัน,อารักขา,คุ้มกัน

protest : a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something - ชุมนุมประท้วง

recent : happening or starting a short time ago - เร็วๆ นี้

refuse (verb): to say or show that you will not do something; to say or show that you will not do something that someone has asked you to do - ปฏิเสธ

regime : a government that controls a country, especially in a strict or unfair way - รัฐบาลที่ขึ้นมาปกครองโดยการยึดอำนาจ

reject : to not accept something - ปฏิเสธ ไม่ยอมรับ

release : allowing someone to go free - การปล่อยตัว

remain : to still be present after the other parts have been removed, used, etc; to continue to exist - ยังเหลืออยู่

renew : to add to the time something can be done or used - ต่ออายุ

represent : to act, speak or be present officially for another person or people - เป็นตัวแทน

request : to ask for something in a formal or polite way - ขอ, ขอร้อง

restore : to bring back to good condition - ฟื้นฟูสภาพ

restore order : to bring an uncontrolled situation under control -

reveal : to let something become known - เปิดเผย

right : something that you are morally or legally allowed to do or have - สิทธิ

scupper : to cause something to fail; to sink your own ship; a hole on the deck of a ship to drain water -

sedition : fighting against the government; rebellion, revolt, revolution, agitation - การปลุกระดมฝูงชนให้ต่อต้านรัฐบาล, การช่วยก่อความไม่สงบ, คำพูดปลุกระดม, การสนับสนุนพวกกบฏ

situation : all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place - สถานการณ์

standing up for : defend; to protect somebody/something from attack - ป้องกัน,ต้าน,พิทักษ์

statement : something that you say or write that gives information or an opinion - แถลงการณ์, คำแถลง

swath (noun): a large strip or area of something - แถบ, แถว, แนว

trial : the process of examining a case in a court of law and deciding whether someone has or has not committed a crime - การพิจารณาคดี

tried : when evidence is examined in court to decide whether somebody is innocent or guilty - พิจารณาคดี

urge : to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take - ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น

violate : to do something that is against a law, rule or agreement - ฝ่าฝืน, ละเมิด

violent : involving or caused by physical force that is intended to hurt or kill somebody - รุนแรง, ร้ายแรง, สาหัส


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