[Media Lines] Thailand: First conviction under Article 112 for protest act sets a disturbing precedent for civic space
9 March 2022 11:44 am
Following the conviction of Narin — a protester who placed a sticker over the Thai King’s portrait — under Article 112 (lese majeste) on Friday, 4 March 2022, the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, and Asia Democracy Network (ADN) said:
The conviction of Narin under Article 112 (lese majeste) for placing a sticker with the logo of a satire page ‘Gukult’ over a portrait of the King during a democracy protest in September 2020 sets a disturbing precedent for civic space in Thailand. This marks the first time that a Thai court sentenced an individual with imprisonment under the ‘vague and ambiguous’ lese majeste law for such an act during a protest. The verdict demonstrates the government’s intensifying targeting of individuals and allies of the pro-democratic movement.
Narin was found guilty and sentenced to three years, which was reduced to two years after his testimony. The court ruled that Narin had acted to ‘insult’ and ‘defame’ the King under Article 112. Right after the reading of the decision, Narin was released on 100,000 THB bail.
Thailand as a State Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) must respect and protect fundamental freedoms for all individuals. We reiterate our call to repeal Article 112, and all other laws used to curtail free expression and demand an immediate and unconditional release of all detainees who are being held in prison under this act.
The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) is a network of 85 member organisations across 23 countries, mainly in Asia. Founded in 1991, FORUM-ASIA works to strengthen movements for human rights and sustainable development through research, advocacy, capacity development and solidarity actions in Asia and beyond. It has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and consultative relationship with the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights. The FORUM-ASIA Secretariat is based in Bangkok, with offices in Jakarta, Geneva and Kathmandu. www.forum-asia.org
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- East Asia-ASEANProgramme, FORUM-ASIA, [email protected]
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