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Advocacy for Somyot by GEFONT Nepal

Advocacy for Somyot by GEFONT Nepal

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Published by Banderas
Part of International Solidarity Campaign for Somyot, Thailand
Part of International Solidarity Campaign for Somyot, Thailand

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Banderas on Jan 17, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/01/2013

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E. Yingluck ShinnawatraPrime MinisterOffice of the Prime MinisterGovernment House Thanon Phitsanulok, DusitBangkok 10300, ThailandJanuary 11, 2013Subject: Judicial harassment against Thai human rights defender and Editor SomyotPrueksakasemsuk Your Excellency,We, the undersigned individuals and civil society organizations in Thailand and around theworld, write to you once again to urge Thailand to respect international human rights lawand protect freedom of expression by ending the judicial harassment against SomyotPrueksakasemsuk and securing his unconditional release at the earliest instance. A fatherof two, Somyot has already been in remand detention for 21 consecutive months on theso-called “lese majeste” charges, for having published two satirical political commentariesin a magazine he edited. The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention considers Somyot's detentionto be arbitrary and in violation of international law, and has called for his release. Thaiacademics, activists, families of those affected by the lese majeste law, and colleagues of Somyot’s have repeatedly called for Somyot’s release.We also wish to stress that theconstant denial of his right to bail- 12 time so far – is inconsistent with the principle of presumption of innocence. The Royal Thai Government should respect the constitutionalprovisions granting the right to bail, in accordance with international fair trial standards’ The chorus of domestic opposition to the abuse of the lese majeste law is growing by theday and the handling of Somyot’s case is a crucial litmus test of the Royal ThaiGovernment’s commitment to the rule of law and democratic principles.A verdict on Somyot’s trial is expected to be delivered by the Criminal Court on January23, 2013. We believe that he should not have been charged in the first place. Somyot’sright to freedom of expression, regardless of his political opinion, is protected both by theConstitution and by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), whichis binding on Thailand. Whether the two articles on which the charges against Somyot

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