Category Archives: General

We’re Thailand’s lese majeste police and you are under arrest

Response to Thai Ambassador to Japan, who objected to Ahjan Pavin’s article “Dhaveevatthana prison: hell on Earth”

Dear Ambassador Sansarn Bunnag,

In a letter to the Japan Times, you accused Pavin Chachavalpongpun of making unsubstantiated claims when he reported that there is a Temporary Prison on the grounds of the Daveevattana [Thavi Wattana] Palace of Thailand’s King Vajiralongkorn, a prison which inmates describe as “Hell on Earth.” The prison is real, and our organization had already translated the public documents authorizing this prison into English and paired it with a Google Earth map, so both Thai- and English-speaking people can know the shocking facts. You can see evidence here http://tahr-global.org/?p=32209 at our website.

The Thai Alliance for Human Rights has been concerned about this prison since we learned of its existence at the beginning of March, after Jumpol Manmai disappeared for several weeks after displeasing the King. His family could not reach him and feared he was dead. When he reappeared in court, it was announced he would be taken back to ‘Provisional Prison of Bhuddha Monthol, Thavi Wattana district,” leading to the discovery of the authorization for a prison by this name at the king’s residence.

So the prison exists. The only remaining mystery is what all goes on there. Having a secret prison that cannot be visited by the public, at the home of a king who is above the law, is a recipe for rampant human rights abuses, including enforced disappearance, torture, and even murder. Continue reading

Letter from TAHR thanking US Representative Jamie Raskin for introducing H. Res 349, which calls for the “global repeal of blasphemy, heresy, and apostasy laws.”

Dear Representative Jamie Raskin,

On behalf of the Thai Alliance for Human Rights, I want to thank you so much for introducing H. Res 349, which calls for the “global repeal of blasphemy, heresy, and apostasy laws.” We are a nonprofit human rights organization consisting of mostly Thai Americans, but also some non-Thai Americans, dedicated to preventing human rights abuses in Thailand and helping the victims of human rights abuses. Many of our members are victims of Thailand’s barbaric lese majeste law, which is in fact an anti-blasphemy law. Continue reading

On the 1992 Black May Anniversary and May 2010 Anniversary, We repost our statement to the ICC at The Hague, the Netherlands, November 14-26, 2016

As we remember Anniversaries of the 52 deaths in the 1992 Black May uprising and the 100 killed in the crackdown on the Red Shirt protests in May 2010, the Thai Alliance for Human Rights would like to propose once again a mechanism for preventing future massacres of civilians. When democracy returns to Thailand, we urge the civilian government to join the International Criminal Court. We repost a video that has just be re-uploaded because it was censored last time:

Statement for the 15th ASP of the ICC at The Hague, the Netherlands,
November 14-26, 2016

Dear Colleagues:

Because universal justice is key to world peace and human progress, we ask the CICC and the ICC to seriously examine Thailand’s stunted political development and partner with Thais to provide a partial remedy: we ask you to energetically pursue Thailand’s ratification of the Rome
Statute. Continue reading

Empty Chair for Pai Daodin at the 2017 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Awards Ceremony in South Korea

On May 18. Empty Chair for Pai Daodin (real name Jatupat Boonpatararaksa) at the 2017 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Awwards Ceremony in South Korea. Pai Daodin, 25-year-old Thai human rights and prodemocracy activist and winner of the 2017 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights, is in jail in Thailand in for sharing a mainstream news article on facebook. He faces a possible 3-15 years in jail if convicted.

summary of the major (and SHOCKING!) points of the (first) appeal by #KohTao defense team lawyer Nadthasiri Bergman LL.M.

“A 198 page appeal on behalf of the accused Burmese defendants in the Koh Tao murder trial has been filed with the Region 8 Court of Appeals on Koh Samui, Thailand. I regret that the pro bono defense team does not have the $5,500 budget necessary to pay for a proper translation into English.
This groundbreaking case is the first in the history of the Thai justice system where police forensic evidence was challenged by the defense and forced to be independently retested. As we feel it is vitally important the content of this public document be made known to the world at large, I have summarized and translated several of the strongest points of the defense’s arguments into English, and mention a few points of concern not addressed in the appeal as well.

💥Police claimed DNA collected from the scene was sent to Singapore for testing and determined the suspects were Asian. Thai police experts later stated this race determination was only revealed by testing at Prince of Songkla University hospital lab twenty days after the suspects were arrested. 💥It was later revealed DNA samples were never sent to Singapore. Regardless, this set the stage for racial profiling of potential suspects.

💥The defendants were arrested on unrelated charges, questioned about the murder before having an attorney present and their statements were entered as part of the prosecution’s evidence. 💥This is a violation of Thai law and grounds for dismissal of the case.

💥DNA samples from both of the accused were collected without consent and before they were informed of the murder charges.

💥During interrogation, police appointed a hostile interpreter who could not read Thai. The defendants were never properly advised of the murder charges nor their rights under Thai law.

💥Both accused testified they were stripped naked by police during interrogation and physically assaulted including punching, kicking, plastic bags over their heads, genital attack etc. 💥Wound and bruise evidence of torture was confirmed by three doctors and one detainee witness.
Chain of custody of mobile phone was never provided, no photo of where it was found etc.
Continue reading

Letter from Narisara Viwatchara to Thai Ambassador to South Korea: May 8, 2017

CREDIT: Narisara Viwatchara: May 8, 2017

Dear Ambassador Sarun,

This is in response to your letter of May 2, 2017 which is herein illustrated below.

You have repeatedly stated that Jatupat Boonpattararaksa (Pai Dowdin) has violated Thailand’s strict lese majeste law which carries a mandatory jail term of 3-15 years, if convicted, for each offense.

Don’t you know, such a law is contrary to the U.N.’s charters with regard to human rights and freedom of expression. I wish to remind you that Thailand is a member of the United Nations. Therefore, it is mandatory that Thailand must strictly be in compliance with the rules and charters of the U.N.

Additionally, this despicable law has been universally condemned by all the civilized nations around the world. Because it is barbaric and has no place in any political environment in any country in the 21st Century.

Respect and love of an institution should come from the heart, not by an enactment and enforcement of an unjust law.

Jatupat must be freed unconditionally and immediately!

Sincerely,

Narisara Viwatchara

 

The King and Pai: Part 10: Happy Songkran!

[first posted April 15, 2017]

This year Pai Doadin will be missing out on the fun of Thailand’s best holiday: Songkran, the national water splashing festival, which is also the Thai New Year. He will not be wearing a Hawaiian shirt, throwing buckets of water at friends and strangers, or wandering the streets with a Super Soaker. He will not be at home with his family performing a water blessing for his parents. (This is because he has been in jail since Christmas awaiting trial for the crime of sharing a BBC news article about the new King on facebook.

Pai Daodin has been in jail since a few days before Christmas. He has been in jail 10 + 31 + 28 + 31 + 15 = 115 days awaiting trial for lese majesty, which is insulting the King—even though he didn’t even say anything, he merely shared a BBC Thai news article that almost 3,000 other Thais also shared. In fact the BBC revealed last week that the Thai article that Pai shared was their MOST-READ article EVER. It was 10 times more popular than their next most popular news article. And if Pai had wanted to say something about the King, his right to do so should have been respected.

Meanwhile, the King was out this week in a loud yellow party shirt having fun, playing carnival games at a Songkran festival, with servants carrying umbrellas to shield him from the sun. Continue reading

Open letter to Thai Embassy about 6 lese majesty victims charged on Tuesday, May 3, Thai Alliance for Human Rights – TAHR

May 4, 2017

Dear Ambassador and Royal Thai Embassy Officials,

Sawadee ka. My name is Ann Norman, Executive Director of the Thai Alliance for Human Rights, an alliance of mostly Thais based in the United States. Our alliance wrote to you previously about the injustice done to law student and human rights and pro-democracy activist Pai Daodin, or Jatupat Boonpattaraksa, who is in jail, charged with lese majesty (insulting royalty) and facing a possible 3 to 15 year sentence merely for sharing a mainstream news article about King Vajiralongkorn on Facebook.

Now, last Tuesday, May 3, six more people (all in one day!) were charged just for sharing something on Facebook, in this case a post by Somsak Jeamteerasakul. One of those people, Prawet Praphanukul was charged 10 times, meaning his sentence could possibly be 150 years. What is even more outrageous is that Prawet Praphanukul, similar to Pai, is a lawyer and human rights activist, who helps victims of the lese majesty law. This is a shocking, further escalation in the use of the lese majesty law. Never before have 6 people been charged in one day, and never before has one person been charged 10 times. And we can see by recent cases how the definition of lese majesty has ballooned way beyond the original meaning of the law itself. This is highlighted by the fact that Prawet Praphanukal is a lawyer working in the area of lese majesty law who only recently stated that he understands the lese majesty law is careful not to cross that line. But simply sharing articles or posts written by others now constitutes lese majesty.

Furthermore, the topic of the posts shared seems to be the missing 1932 Revolution Plaque marking the end of absolute monarchy, which was replaced in the middle of the night by a plaque that says nothing about the Revolution and instead recommends loving the King. It is unreasonable for the Thai government to order people NOT to ask about or object to the sudden and mysterious disappearance of an important historical marker, which was significant to many as marking the starting point for Thai democracy. The Thai people feel that whoever stole the plaque is trying to rewrite Thai history and further attacking the foundations for future Thai democracy. Continue reading

Video of the Lao-Thai Human Rights Conference – Thai Alliance for Human Rights speech at 5:15

Lao-Thai Human Rights Conference on Capital Hill, Washington DC, April 26, 2017

Some speeches are in Thai and some are in English. Ann Norman, Executive Director of the Thai Alliance for Human Rights, speaks (in English) about Thailand’s Orwellian Nightmare: Three Cases at  at 5:15.