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Thailand: Free Somyot
In partnership with the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions, a global union federation representing 20 million workers organized in 355 industrial trade unions in 115 countries
Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, a trade unionist, activist and journalist in Thailand has been in jail since April 2011 on charges of lèse majesté. The charges allege that he has defamed the King by publishing two articles in the magazine he edited, The Voice of Thaksin. Somyot is innocent of these charges, a position supported by expert witnesses and human rights organisations. An international campaign has been underway for the last 12 months to secure his release, which has included demonstrations across the region and a hunger strike by Somyot’s son, Tai, for 122 hours earlier this year. The campaign is supported by a number of international and national trade unions and human rights organisations, including the IFJ, ICEM, Article 19 and the National Human Rights Commission in Thailand.
Somyot is now in the last week of hearings and we are concerned that a fair trial takes place. He has been denied bail nine times and is experiencing extraordinarily harsh conditions. Thai trade unions will hold a demonstration outside Parliament and the UN delegation in Bangkok on the 30th April.