Urgent Action Update: Student Activist's Fifth Bail Request Denied (Thailand: UA 290/16)

Urgent Action
January 27, 2017
On 1 February, on the expiry of his detention order, authorities are due to ask the courts permission to continue the detention of law student Jatupat Boonpattararaksa who may face up to 15 years’ imprisonment for posting a BBC article on Facebook. The Khon Kaen Provincial Court revoked his bail on the basis they considered his subsequent social media comments that satirised authorities to be a threat to security.
Final-year law student and activist Jatupat Boonpattararaksa’s fifth request for bail was denied on 19 January in a secret hearing before the Khon Kaen Provincial Court, in north-eastern Thailand. When the court refused members of the public, including the media, to attend the hearing Jatupat Boonpattararaksa (also known as Pai) sent his lawyers out of the courtroom in an act of protest. He has been detained in Khon Kaen Central Prison since 22 December 2016 and faces charges of violating Article 112 of the Thai Penal Code – Thailand’s lèse majesté law - and the Computer Crimes Act for sharing on his Facebook account a BBC news article published on 1 December 2016. On 1 February, on the expiry of his detention order, authorities are due to ask the courts permission to continue Jatupat Boonpattararaksa’s detention. He may face up to 15 years’ imprisonment.
Jatupat Boonpattararaksa has reported that every time he is returned to Khon Kaen Central Prison, the authorities carry out an intrusive anal cavity search, ostensibly for drugs. Under international law and standards such searches may be undertaken only if absolutely necessary and must not be used to harass or unnecessarily intrude upon an individual’s privacy. Conducting such searches in any other circumstances or manner violate the absolute prohibition on torture and other ill-treatment.
Due to his detention, Jatupat Boonpattararaksa was unable to attend a final law examination, which is required in order for him to graduate. While the Khon Kaen Provincial Court has allowed him to sit the exam in prison, leaving it to Khon Kaen University to arrange a date with prison officials, no such steps appear to have been taken.
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
  • Urging the authorities to release Jatupat Boonpattararaksa immediately and unconditionally and stop all criminal proceedings against him;
  • Expressing concern that Jatupat Boonpattararaksa is being targeted solely for the peaceful exercise of his rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly; and
  • Calling on authorities to ensure that, pending his release, Jatupat Boonpattararaksa is not subjected to any treatment which may constitute torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment standards.
Contact these two officials by 10 March, 2017:
Minister of Justice
Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana
Ministry of Justice
Government Centre Building A
120 Moo 3
Chaengwattana Road,
Bangkok 10210, Thailand
Fax: +66 2953 0503
Salutation: Dear Minister
Ambassador Pisan Manawapat
Royal Embassy of Thailand
1024 Wisconsin Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20007
Phone: 202 944 3600 I Fax: 1 202 944 3611
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
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