United Nations: Detention of 2 lèse majesté Convicts in Thailand Was Done Arbitrary

The UN has concluded that the detention of two lèse majesté convicts each of whom received more than two decades of jail term was done arbitrarily.

The Thai Lawyers for Human Rights on 19 October 2017 reported that the UN Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concluded that Sasiwimon S. and Tiensutham S., aka. Yai Daengduad, were detained arbitrarily.

The two are convicts of Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law. The Military Court of Chiang Mai in 2015 sentenced Sasiwimon to 28 imprisonment while Tiensutham received 25 years jail term from Bangkok’s Military Court.

The working group stated after the 79th meeting between 21-25 August that the detention of the two was against the international conventions in which Thailand is a state party of such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Earlier the UN concluded that the detention of four lèse majesté convicts were arbitrary. The four are: Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, Pornthip Munkong, Patiwat Saraiyaem, Phongsak S.

After UN inquired the Thai government about the detention of the two in June 2017, the government replied that the state protects and values freedom of expressions as it is the foundation of democratic society, but it should be executed under the law without affecting ‘social order and harmony’.

The government also stated that Article 112 of the Criminal Code is necessary to protect the Thai Monarchy as the monarchy is one of the main pillars of Thai society.

Sasiwimon, a 31-year-old single mom with two children, was initially sentenced to 56 years in jail for allegedly posting seven lèse majesté messages under the Facebook identity ‘Rungnapha Kampichai’.

Tiensutham was a 60-year-old consultant to several construction companies. He was sentenced to 50 years prison for committing similar offences.

As the two pleaded guilty, however, the jail term for the two were halved. They could not appeal the sentence because they were convicted by the military court.