Thailand: Judicial harassment of human rights defenders and democracy activists; harassment of human rights lawyers and advocates
Fourteen students charged with sedition after symbolic anti-coup demonstrations
Statement: Timeline, Analysis and Recommendations
8 July 2015
Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) is a committee of Canadian lawyers who promote human rights and the rule of law through advocacy, education and research. LRWC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN).
Fourteen members of the student New Democracy Movement (NDM) may face prison terms up to seven years after being charged with sedition for twelve days by a military court for exercising their right to dissent and for participating in several peaceful, symbolic protests to mark the anniversary of Thailand’s 22 May 2014 military coup. The 14 are charged with violating Order No. 3/2015 of the Head of National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), which bans political gatherings of more than five persons, and under Article 116 of the Criminal Code for inciting public unrest (sedition). On 27 June 2015, a lawyer for the students, Ms. Sirikan Charoensiri of the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), was subjected to unlawful search of her motor vehicle. The Royal Thai Police have announced they are considering legal action against her and have visited her home and questioned her family members. On 6 July 2015, human rights defender, Mr. Baramee Chairat, coordinator of Thailand’s Assembly of the Poor and a member of the board of Amnesty International Thailand, was formally accused of sedition under Criminal Code Article 116 for showing support for the 14 activists at a demonstration at Democracy Monument on 25 June 2015.