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Amnesty Campaigns To Support Thai Human Rights Lawyer

Bangkok, Wed Nov 16 2016
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London based rights group Amnesty International called on its members on Monday to encourage Thailand’s military government to drop a count of sedition amongst other charges against a human rights lawyer, Sirikan “June” Charoensiri, Khoasod English reported yesterday. Describing the charges against Ms Charoensiri as unfair Amnesty issued a statement urging its seven million members around the world to write letters to the regime urging it to dismiss the charges. “Human rights lawyer Sirikan Charoensiri, who is also known as June, faces an unfair trial in a military court together with 14 peaceful student activists she legally represented in June 2015. If convicted, she could face up to 15 years’ imprisonment,” the statement read.

Ms Charoensiri, a member of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, was charged the 22nd October with sedition under Article 116 of the Penal Code and with violating the junta’s ban on assembly of more than four people for a political purpose. She had her client’s mobile phones inside her vehicle which she refused to let police seize. Officers erected a fence around her car and then later impounded it. “She has also been accused of filing a false report to the police because she made a legal complaint of official misconduct against the officials who subsequently impounded her car,” the Amnesty statement noted. Amnesty asked its members to write letters urging the authorities to drop the charges and also protect lawyers’ freedom to defend their clients without fear of prosecution or retaliation.

Khoasod English have previously reported that considering the trouble Ms Charoensiri is facing, no regret has been evident during her interviews with the press when she has explained why she refused to let police search her car and remove her activist clients’ phones and files last year. Nine months after Ms Charoensiri refused to let police seize the phones and files belonging to 14 pro-democracy activists, the 30 year old lawyer said she is a victim of judicial harassment only for insisting on the letter of the law. “That night I didn’t surrender to them because there was no guarantee whatsoever as to what may be done to the electronic devices,” she said. “I would only do so when there’s a court order.”

The lawyer, popularly known as “Attorney June” or “Thanai June”, has been charged with refusing to comply with an officer’s order and concealing evidence from the incident in the early hours of the 27th June 2015. You can read more on this story here -http://bit.ly/2fTkeZV

Khao Sod English
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