[Appeal] Call for International Solidarity- Open Letter to Thailand Prime Minister – Free Somyot Campaign

Free Somyot

Dear all comrades and friends

Warm greetings from Free Somyot Campaign!

We are here again calling your strong support before the verdict will be announced for somyot case on the 23 Jan 2013. If he is found guilty, it will be 30 years sentences!

We are calling for your continuous support to endorse this open letter that will be submit to the Thai authorities on the 17 Jan 2013 to call for Somyot case to be dropped. As he did nothing wrong to uphold freedom of expression as human rights defender. We remain the position that Somyot is innocence and the Lese majeste law violate freedom of expression in Thailand.

Therefore, we call for your organization and any individual to endorse this letter.
Please kindly send your endorsement by latest at 12pm < Thailand time> on 16 Jan 2o13.
Please send to this email : freesomyot@gmail.com

Many thanks again
Free Somyot Campaign
10 Jan 2013


Open Letter to:

H.E. Yingluck Shinnawatra
Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister
Government House
Thanon Phitsanulok, Dusit
Bangkok 10300, Thailand

January XX, 2013

Subject: Judicial harassment against Thai human rights defender and editor Somyot Prueksakasemsuk

Your Excellency,

We, the undersigned individuals and civil society organizations in Thailand and around the world, write to you once again to urge Thailand to respect international human rights law and protect freedom of expression by ending the judicial harassment against Somyot Prueksakasemsuk and securing his unconditional release at the earliest instance. A father of two, Somyot has already been in remand detention for 21 consecutive months on the so-called “lese majeste” charges, for having published two satirical political commentaries in a magazine he edited.

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention considers Somyot’s detention to be arbitrary and in violation of international law, and has called for his release. Thai academics, 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 the constant 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 constitutional provisions 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 the day and the handling of Somyot’s case is a crucial litmus test of the Royal Thai Government’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 January 23, 2013. We believe that he should not have been charged in the first place. Somyot’s right to freedom of expression, regardless of his political opinion, is protected both by the Constitution and by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which is binding on Thailand. Whether the two articles on which the charges against Somyot were based constitute criminal offence is also highly questionable. Rather than witch-hunting political opponents, ensuring an open and free space for discussion of politics and other issues of public interests reduces social tension and contributes to a national reconciliation.

Criminalizing political speech and persecuting an editor who was not the author does not reflect the commitment to human rights Thailand has often professed on the international stage, especially as a country that plans to seek a seat on the UN Security Council and is a member of the Human Rights Council. Once upon a time, Thailand claimed to be a democracy and was in fact considered as one of the most progressive countries within ASEAN, but the abuse of restrictive legislations to criminalize citizens like Somyot has since undermined Thailand’s credibility and its efforts to distinguish itself from authoritarian regimes in the region.

We remain hopeful that the Royal Thai Government still attaches importance to human rights and can end unjust actions against its citizens. We therefore respectfully call upon your administration and all organs of the Government to take all appropriate steps to ensure that Somyot’s arbitrary detention ends immediately and that he is able to exercise peacefully his fundamental human rights, without reprisals of any kind, including at the judicial level.

Thank you for your serious consideration of our concerns and recommendations. We look forward to your response and actions in favor of freedom of expression.

Sincerely yours,


Copied to:

H.E. Mr. Pracha Promnok
Minister of Justice
22nd Floor Software Park Building
Chaeng Wattana Road
Pakkred, Nonthaburi 11120, Thailand
Fax: +66 2 650 9340 / 2 502 6734 / 2 502 6884
E-mail: om@moj.go.th , secretary@moij.go.th

H.E. Mr. Surapong Tovichakchaikul
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand
443 Sri Ayudhya Road
Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Fax: +66 2 643 5320 / 2 643 5314 / 2 643 5272
Email: minister@mfa.go.th, thaiinfo@mfa.go.th, permsec@mfa.go.th

Mr. Jullasingha Wasantasingha
Attorney General
Office of the Attorney General
Lukmuang Building, Nahuppei Road
Prabraromrachawang, Pranakorn
Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Fax: +66 2 224 0162 / 1448 / 221 0858
E-mail: ag@ago.go.th oag@ago.go.th

Mr. Pairoj Wayuparp
The President of the Supreme Court of Justice of Thailand
6 Ratchadamnoen Nai Road,
Prabarommaharatchawang, Phranakorn,
Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Fax: 02-1434308; +66 2226-4389
Email: opsc@coj.go.th

Mr. Tavee Prajuablarp
Chief Judge of the Criminal Court of Thailand
Radchada Pisek Road, Jormpon Sub-District, Jatujak District
Bangkok 10900, Thailand
Fax.+66 2541 2141

H.E. Mr. Thani Thongphakdi
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Permanent Representative
Permanent Mission of Thailand to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva
Rue Gustave Moynier 5
1202 Geneva, Switzerland
Fax: +41 22 715 10 00 , +41 22 715 10 02
Email: mission.thailand@ties.itu.int

H.E. Mr. Norachit Sinhaseni
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Permanent Representative
Permanent Mission of Thailand to the United Nations in New York
351 East 52nd Street
New York, N.Y. 10022, USA
Fax: +1 212 688 3029
E-mail: thailand@un.int

Dr. Seree Nonthasoot
Thailand’s Representative to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)
Email: sernon@gmail.com

Professor Amara Pongsapich
Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand
120 Chaengwattana Road, Laksi District
Bangkok 10210, Thailand
Fax. +66 2 141 3900
Email: amara@nhrc.or.th, interhr@nhrc.or.th, help@nhrc.or.th

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