Send in your letter of support to Somyot!
You can submit this letter to firstname.lastname@example.org or submit it online at the Clean Clothes Campaign here.
The President of the Supreme Court of Justice of Thailand
6 Ratchadamnoen Nai Road,
Bangkok 10200 Thailand
HE Ms Yingluck Shinawatra
Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand
Pitsanulok Road, Dusit District
Bangkok 10300, Thailand
I am writing to you in connection with the upcoming trial and continued detention of Somyot Prueksakasemsuk who will stand trial on charges of lèse majesté from 21 November 2011 until 4 May 2012 and who could face the maximum penalty of 30 years’ imprisonment. He has been in pre-trial detention for nine months since the arrest by officials from the Department of Special Investigation in April 2011.
The Thai Constitution affords the right to a speedy and fair trial. We are concerned Somyot Prueksakasemsuk may not be accorded these basic rights. We believe that by holding the hearings across Thailand with no evident reason places a severe and unnecessary risk to Somyot’s health and security. We believe the denial of bail is part of an ongoing pattern of harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders in Thailand. We ask the Thai judicial authorities to ensure that the rights of Somyot Prueksakasemsuk are upheld during his detention and that he is accorded his right to a fair trial, including the right to bail and the holding of the court sessions in Bangkok.
We respectfully remind you that the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, adopted by consensus by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1998, recognises the legitimacy of the activities of human rights defenders, their right to freedom of association and calls on States to ensure that they can carry out their activities without fear of reprisals.
We ask you to ensure that
Somyot Prueksakasemsuk is released. Failing his immediate and unconditional release, we ask that Somyot Prueksakasemsuk be granted his right to bail, in accordance with fair trial standards under domestic and international law;
The remaining court hearings are held in Bangkok including the upcoming prosecution witness hearing on the 13th February;
Human rights defenders in Thailand, especially those working on freedom of expression, are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions, including judicial harassment.