UN urges review of LM cases

UN urges review of LM cases

A protester at the Skywalk, Ratchaprasong, calls for bail for lese majeste suspect Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, aka Pai Dao Din. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
A protester at the Skywalk, Ratchaprasong, calls for bail for lese majeste suspect Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, aka Pai Dao Din. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (HCHR) has urged Thailand to review lese majeste cases including the current "Pai Dao Din" controversy.

The office of the HCHR has responded to a complaint made by Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) on Jan 6 regarding the arrest of Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, or Pai Dao Din, on Dec 2 last year and the revocation of his bail on Dec 22 by the court.

"The OHCHR is following up on Mr Jatupat's case and has sent a letter to the permanent secretary of justice, Royal Thai Police, Foreign Ministry and the Khon Kaen Provincial Court," according to the letter sent to the TLHR Wednesday.

The UN human rights unit expressed concern over the prosecution of Mr Jatupat on a lese majeste offence for exercising his right to freedom of expression and opinion, the military's role in the investigation of the case and the revocation of his bail based on his comments against the government.

The OHCHR urged the government to review cases, including Jatupat's, in which suspects have been charged under Section 112 of the Criminal Code known as the lese majeste law.

They asked that requests for remand be made in a proportionate and reasonable manner in accordance with the principle of presumption of innocence, and to allow Mr Jatupat to take his university exam.

Yaowalak Anupan, TLHR's manager, said she was pleased the UN has supported domestic human rights advocates.

"Pai's case is about the return of his basic right of temporary release, not arrangements to let him sit his exam in prison," said Ms Yaowalak, referring to the Justice Ministry's effort to let him sit his final law exams behind bars.

Mr Jatupat's charges stem from a Facebook post in which he shared an article about His Majesty the King published on the British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) Thai language service website on Dec 2 last year.

Meanwhile, the Geneva-based Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, sent a statement of concern to Thai authorities over the detention of Mr Jatupat which states:

"The Observatory noted that, to date, Mr Jatupat is the only individual who has been arrested and charged among the approximately 3,000 web users who shared the BBC profile of the King on Facebook. It is believed the charges against him are aimed at sanctioning [punishing] his legitimate human rights activities."

Protesters at the Skywalk, Ratchaprasong, calls for bail for lese majeste suspect Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, aka Pai Dao Din. (Video by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)


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