Monthly Archives: April 2017

International Law on “licensing of media workers”

From the Article 19 organization on the international law pertaining to “licensing of media workers”:

The Article 19 organization takes it’s name from Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states:

19) Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

“Responding to the argument that a licensing regime is simply the ‘normal’ way to regulate certain professions . . . In contrast to lawyers and physicians, the activities of journalists – the seeking, receiving and imparting of information and ideas – are specifically protected as a human right, namely the right to freedom of expression.”

“The three special mandates for protecting freedom of expression – the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media and the OAS Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression – adopt a Joint Declaration each year setting out standards relating to important freedom of expression issues. In their 2004 Declaration, they stated: “Individual journalists should not be required to be licensed or to register.

It is thus clear that, under international law, licensing and even registration of media workers is prohibited. In practice, licensing schemes for journalists are virtually unheard of in established democracies.”

Remarks by Sukit Subaneksanti at the Laotion-Thai Human Rights Conference on Capital Hill, Washington DC, April 26, 2017

Good afternoon everyone.

My name is Sukit Subaneksanti. I am representing “The Union of Democracy Loving Thai People of Illinois,” a Thai organization in Chicago.


Behind those deceiving slogans of “Thailand: The Land of Smiles” and “Amazing Thailand” is the bitterness most Thai people are enduring because of the lack of freedom, democracy, and the ever-growing, ever more powerful dictatorship.

Thai government’s worldwide propaganda…

Claims that Thailand is a democratic country under unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy, and the King is under the laws.

This is not true. Thailand is not a democratic country. Thailand is under a deceptive absolute monarchy, and the King is above all laws

Therefore, Thailand is under dictatorship.

To truly understand Thailand’s dictatorship, one must understand its structure.

Thailand’s dictatorship is comprised of 3 powers, 1st the monarchy system, 2nd the King, and 3rd the tools of tyranny.

The first two, the monarchy system and the King:

Fronted by the present King Rama the X, Thailand’s dictatorship is rooted in monarchy system.

Yes, the monarchy system, the very same system that Westerners wrongly see as the symbol of kindness and the center of heart and mind of Thai people.

The 3rd power of Thailand’s dictatorship structure
Are the tools of tyranny, including Article 112, Article 44, regulations, a phony judicial system, a phony legislative system, intelligence agencies, military forces, police, prisons, intimidation squads, phony accusations, harassment, attack, and more.

The center of all evil things happening in Thailand

Are the monarchy system and the King, combined.

Because they originate from the immoral belief that all men are not created equal, Thailand’s monarchy system and the King need to legitimize themselves.  Continue reading

Thailand’s Orwellian Nightmare: Three Cases

Remarks by Ann Norman, Executive Director of the Thai Alliance for Human Rights, at the Laotian-Thai Human Rights Conference at the Rayburn Building, Washington, DC.

Conference organized by Lao Human Rights and Red USA – Thai Voice International; sponsored by US Congressman Markwayne Mullin)

[สวัสดีค่ะ พี่น้องทุกๆ ท่านที่รักความเป็นธรรม รู้สึกเป็นเกียรติ อย่างยิ่งที่ได้มาพูดตรงนี่ค่ะ P’ Chao asked me to talk about three human rights cases. This won’t be boring because it is horrifying.]

Kritsuda Khunasaen

A 27-year old women, a leader of the Red Shirts, was one of thousands taken away for arbitrary detention at an undisclosed location right after the May 2014 coup conducted by General Prayuth Chanocha. Kritsuda’s family was frantic because unlike most of the others she wasn’t returned within the 7 days that the junta gave themselves to “legally” detain someone. But on the 28th day of her detention she appeared on TV and gave a chilling interview: wearing an anxious smile, she insisted she had been well treated by the military, that everything was great and she had spent her time watching TV and playing on the Internet; and that in fact at one point, the soldiers had let her go, but she was having such a good time she asked to stay longer! Then they led her go. What did the junta hope to gain by airing this totally implausible story? It was impossible to know whether they stupidly expected people to believe this story, or whether they wanted to terrify people with their amazing powers to extract compliance.

Kritsuda escaped the country and from safety told a completely different story: she had been blindfolded the whole time she was in custody, her hands tied––even when she went to the bathroom, a female soldier had to pull her pants down for her! The soldiers even bathed her, which see said she considered sexual harassment. And she could hear a man’s voice in the background while they bathed her. They slapped her, and at certain points they put a plastic bag over her head and suffocated her into unconsciousness. She awoke to the words “Is she dead yet?”

The junta threatened her to stop giving interviews saying they would charge her with further crimes if she kept talking. But opposing the junta is not a crime outside Thailand, so the junta accused her of supplying guns to a group of five who had just confessed to being the so-called “Men in Black” shooters from 2010. (This strategy repeats itself in the recent Ma Noi case.) But the men accused of being the Men in Black soon rescinded their confessions saying they had been tortured­­––threatened with execution, blindfolded, beaten, suffocated, buried up to their necks, and given electric shocks while in military custody.

Chaiyaphoom Pasae

Chaiyaphoom Pasae was a stateless hilltribe boy, of Lahu ethnicity, born in Thailand but not actually a Thai citizen, as is the case with many of the hilltribe people. Chaiyaphoom was shot dead by a soldier last month at a military checkpoint. The military claimed that they had found drugs hidden in the car in which he was a passenger, that Chaiyaphoom had run from them and when they pursued, he had pulled out a hand grenade to throw at them.

Chaiyaphoom’s many friends immediately began to shout that this was impossible. It turns out was not just any hilltribe boy, he was a famous community activist, singer, and short film maker. Continue reading

Remarks by Chao Suethae of RedUSA – Voice International, at the Laotian-Thai Human Rights Conference on Capital Hill, Washington DC

(Left to right: Dr. Richard Saisomorn of Laotian New Generation Democracy Movement, Paul Prokop of the US State Department, and Chao Suethae of RedUSA -Thai Voice International)

ถ้อยแถลงของ RED USA – Thai Voice International
ที่ Rayburn House Office Building, Capital Hill, DC
ในการประชุม “Laotian-Thai Human Rights Conference” เมื่อวันพุธที่ 26 เมษายน 2017

The statement of RedUSA -Thai Voice International at Rayburn House Office Building, Capital Hill, Washington DC, at the Laotian-Thai Human Rights Conference, April, 26, 2017

Continue reading

The King and Pai, Part 8: Thailand vs. The BBC

(Originally posted on Facebook, April 1, 2017)

Ten days ago, on March 21, the government deployed a 100-person security team outside Khon Kaen court complex, for the pretrial hearing of for Pai Daodin, (Jutapat Boonpattararaksa), and a large crowd gathered to show their support for a man who is perhaps the second-most famous victim of Thailand’s harsh lese majesty laws. What is all the fuss about? Pai, a 25-year-old, shared a BBC news article about King Vajiralongkorn on Facebook. For this, he is jailed without bail, and if convicted, could serve 3 to 15 year in jail. The primary reason this case is making waves is the remarkable character of Pai Daodin himself and of his friends in the pro-democracy movement.

But this case has struck a nerve locally and internationally, not only because of the popularity and principled stand of Pai Daodin. There is so much at stake, not just for this man, but for freedom of speech in the region. On the same day that the Pai was arrested, December 2, one day after Vajiralongkorn accepted the title of King, the police also raided the offices of BCC Thai in Bangkok, finding them abandoned. The police claimed to be hunting for the author of the article on new King Vajiralongkorn, and Dictator Prayut Chan-o-cha made a statement to the press warning “that no agent, foreign or domestic, will receive special treatment where Thai law is concerned.”

BBC Thai replied that it “was established to bring impartial, independent, and accurate news to a country where the media faces restrictions, and we are confident that this article adheres to the BBC’s editorial principles.”

Within Thailand, those looking to read the BBC article on King Vajiralongkon were blocked by a message from the Orwellinan Ministry for Digital Economy and Society saying the website contained “inappropriate information.” Continue reading

Thailand: Draft Media Law Threatens News Reporting 2 Years in Prison for Reporting Without License…/thailand-draft-media-law-threatens-ne…

For Immediate Release

Thailand: Draft Media Law Threatens News Reporting
2 Years in Prison for Reporting Without License

(New York, April 29, 2017) – The Thai government should immediately withdraw the latest draft law that seeks to tighten control of news reporting in Thailand, Human Rights Watch said today. The Media Reform Committee at the National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA), whose members are appointed by the military junta, announced that the National Assembly will consider the bill on May 1, 2017.

The Bill on the Protection and Promotion of Media Rights, Freedom, Ethics and Professional Standards provides for a government-appointed national media council to regulate all media platforms – print, broadcast, or online. It also subjects anyone who directly or indirectly earns income from reporting news to the public without a license – and their company, agency, or organization – to up to two years in prison and a 60,000 baht (US$1,715) fine.

“The misnamed media rights and freedom law is the junta’s latest attempt to increase government interference and control of any independent news reporting,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Passage of this draft law would mean that reporters in Thailand will be constantly looking over their shoulder at a government-appointed panel that can have them jailed.” Continue reading

The Truth about King Vajiralongkorn

By Red Eagle (a member of the Thai Alliance for Human Rights)

King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, King of Thailand, inherited the throne from his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was known as the Father of the Most Coups in the World and was secretly called an invisible hand behind the coup and the politics of Thailand during past 70 years.

All Thais know that King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun has behaved inappropriately in many ways since he was young. Most of Thais don’t as accept and trust him as they do to the previous King. He is known as a playboy who has many wives and mistresses and was called by his mother, previous queen Sirikit, as “Don Juan of Thailand.” He is also known as a mafia person who has exploited Thais and broken laws continuously publicly. For example, he ordered Junta prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, to edit the Constitution’s laws about the power of the King without a public hearing claiming that this part was not involved with citizens, therefore, it was not necessary to do a public hearing in this case.

He has extremely and directly intervened in the entire system of Buddhism, including organizations, temples, priests and believers. Continue reading

Thai Paradox and Hypocrisy

By Narisara Viwatchara

คำพังเพยไทยที่เสี้ยมสอนกันมาตั้งแต่สมัยปู่ย่าตายายดิฉันคิดว่าเป็นคำพังเพยที่ใช้ไม่ได้เห็นแก่ตัวเสี้ยมสอนให้เด็กไม่กล้าท้าทายกับความจริงหรือสิ่งที่ไม่ถูกต้องใช้ไม่ได้กับสมัยปัจจุบันใน ศตวรรษที่ 21 แล้วค่ะ
Thai Paradox and Hypocrisy
By Narisara Viwatchara

Thai elders always teach their children to be obedient no matter what and that , “The dogs won’t bite you!”

On the contrary, despite the wise old saying, in Thailand the dogs will always bite you.

When I was growing up in Thailand, I was taught many Thai proverbs by my teachers and asked to strictly adhere to such maxims.

These gems of common sense included the following:

A man is like the forelegs of an elephant, while a female is like the hind legs.

That’s to say, a woman must always conform, follow and be docile.

Another one similarly plays on the animal motif:

Always follow the elders and the dogs won’t bite you.

Simply, never question the elders and you will be fine.

These are only two of many such teachings that elder Thais have forced on younger generations for ages.

Looking over the above statements, which are still being taught in Thai schools, it’s no wonder Thais are the most passive people in the world. Continue reading

The King and Pai, Part 7: “Thailand Needs Equal Justice under the Law NOW!”

by Ann Norman

Between 2,500 and 3,000 people shared the BBC news article about the new Thai King that Pai Daodin shared on Facebook. Yet only Pai was charged with lese majesty for sharing it. This selective enforcement is easily explained. Those on upper levels of Thailand’s rigid social hierarchy (similar to the racist social heirarchy of the US South prior to the Civil Rights era) are eager to punish leaders in the fight for democracy and respect for human rights (including free speech), such as Pai. Continue reading

Meet My Friends in Exile: เราคือเพื่อนกัน

By Ann Norman

Full disclosure: Some of my best friends (and plenty more casual friends) are Thai broadcasters in exile who want a Federal state in Thailand, or at least, they want to discuss it as an option and to report the news. Plenty of my friends are the so-called “lese majesty suspects,” ordinary people, liberal and sensible, who stand accused of saying something negative about someone with “royal blood.” They have been accused of stepping over an invisible, pretend line that has no conceivable moral justification in a civilized society. Why do I bring this up? Because the junta very conveniently has just found a weapons stash said to be left behind at the house of an exiled Thai broadcaster who advocates for a Thai Federalist state. Koh Tee, or Ma Noi, had to flee Thailand three years ago after being accused of lese majesty (which, as I just mentioned, is not really a “thing” except in the minds of royalty-supremacists). Koh Tee says the weapons were planted at his house and have nothing to do with him. But having linked the weapons to Koh Tee, at least in people’s minds, these royalty-supremacists are eager to link a now-tainted Koh Tee to all the other exiled opposition leaders they wish to neutralize.

And yes, they are all connected. In fact, everyone who hates this dictatorship is connected in the following ways: We get on the Internet and chat with each other. We meet at conventions and protests. We listen to each other’s broadcasts and read each other’s articles. We criticize the human rights abuses and call out the lies from a junta that is increasingly giving up on even the pretense of democracy. Continue reading