Statement of people standing behind the Neo Democracy Movement
In Thailand, fourteen students have been indicted with the Military Court and now detained in the Bangkok Remand Prison simply because they have protested peacefully against the military dictatorship on 22 May this year. We are demanding that they be released unconditionally and their charges dropped.
Rangsiman Rome, Wasant Sadesit, Songtham Kaewpanphruek, Payu Boonsopon, Apiwat Suntararak, Rattapol Supasophon, Supachai Pookhlongploy, Apisit Sapnapaphan, Panupong Sritananuwat, Suvicha Pitungkorn, Pakorn Areekul, Chatupat Boonyapatraksa, Pornchai Yuanyee and Chonticha Chaengreo, among them thirteen male and one female students from universities in Bangkok and Khon Kaen, were pressed with charges relating to the violation of the NCPO orders banning political gathering and the Penal Code’s Article 116 (sedition). If convicted, they could each face up to seven years of imprisonment.
Nonviolence is not a crime. A demand for democracy cannot be criminalized. An act to promote and uphold human rights, community rights and public participation cannot be treated as a threat to national security. A call for justice cannot be rewarded with punishment.
Instead of addressing the gripping economic crisis, instead of getting ready to cope with the spread of fatal MERS virus, the military junta in Thailand led by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who staged a military coup last May, has mobilized resources simply to capture fourteen unarmed students. The Military Court was open even at midnight simply to indict and to order the remand of the student activists. Since after the 2014 coup, orders have been issued to authorize the Military Court to have jurisdiction over cases against civilians. All of the activists who have come out against the military regime have been arrested, indicted or already convicted by the Military Court, which is condemned by international human rights organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch as lacking independence and failing to ensure the right to fair trial.
The draconian Section 44 of the Interim 2014 Constitution has been lately invoked to replace Martial Law. It has given even more power to the authorities to hold a person in custody arbitrarily and increased a risk of torture and ill-treatment in custody. The law has been used to essentially stifle dissent in Thailand. We feel concerned that the fourteen students who are now detained at least twelve days could face the same brutal treatment.
So we demand that they be released and their charges dropped unconditionally.
ภัควดี วีระภาสพงษ์ started this petition with a single signature, and won with 14,026 supporters. Start a petition to change something you care about.
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