Bangkok police threatened to arrest those who post anti-coup messages on social networks

Local press reports, Deputy Bangkok police chief Pol Maj Gen Amnuay Nimmano on Thursday threatened to arrest those who post anti-coup messages on social networks.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Police Bureau is now collaborating with the Technology Crime Suppression Division to track down people who post messages deemed as instigating anti-coup or anti- junta protests, Amnuay said. Anyone who shares anti-coup messages will also violate the law and could face arrest, he added.

In an example of what had occurred to those arrested, is the case of Sombat Boonngamanong. Several local press reports Thailand’s anti-coup activist Sombat has been formally charged with inciting unrest, violating the Computer Crime Act and defying the order of the military junta, Pol Col Prasopchoke Prommun said Thursday.  Sombat denied all the charges after the military handed him over to the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) of the Royal Thai Police on Thursday morning, said Prasopchoke, deputy commander of the CSD. Later, Sombat was taken by the police to the Bangkok Military Court, which has yet to decide whether to approve his release on bail,

Prasopchoke said. Sombat was arrested by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) on June 5 after having defied the NCPO’s order to report in and allegedly used social networks to spearhead a number of sporadic and small-scaled anti-coup rallies. The NCPO has banned political gatherings of five people or more since the May 22 coup.

The following is from Amnesty International (Source)

DOCUMENT – THAILAND: RESPECT AND PROTECT THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF PEOPLE IN THAILAND. ORAL STATEMENT TO THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL 26TH REGULAR SESSION

AI Index: ASA 39/010/2014

Check against delivery

10 June 2014

UN Human Rights Council

Twenty-sixth Session

10 – 27 June 2014

Item 2: Annual report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General

Update by the High Commissioner followed by General Debate

Delivered by Patrizia Scannella – Video link: http://bit.ly/1pCt50C (statement number 52)

Thank you Mr. President.

Amnesty International takes this occasion to express its deep appreciation to Madam Navi Pillay for her bold and constant leadership as High Commissioner. We wish her all the best for her future endeavours.

We share the concerns the High Commissioner expressed about the current human rights situation in Thailand.

Since the Thai military declared martial law granting itself extensive and excessive powers on 20 May and took power on 22 May, it has suspended human rights protections under the Constitution. It has taken actions that violate Thailand’s international legal obligations, in particular under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Arbitrary detentions have violated the right to liberty: the military has summoned hundreds of politicians, academics, activists and journalists. Most were detained for up to seven days, without charge or trial, some held incommunicado. To be released many had to sign undertakings restricting their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, expression and movement, and penalizing any inconsistent exercise of those rights. Peaceful protestors have been detained and may face prosecution.

The military has placed severe restrictions on the right to freedom of expression: it has issued orders prohibiting criticism of the coup and intimidated journalists, academics and critics, including through arbitrary detentions and censorship of media and websites.

Fair trial rights have been violated by orders under which civilians may be tried in military courts for security offences. It is of particular concern that rulings by military courts cannot be appealed, and that the jurisdiction of these courts has been extended to other offences including the lèse majesté law.

Amnesty International urges members and state observers of the Human Rights Council to:

Voice concern over the human rights situation in Thailand;

Call on the Thai authorities to respect and protect the human rights of people in Thailand, in particular by ending arbitrary detentions, lifting restrictions on freedom of expression and peaceful association, and ending prosecution of civilians in military courts;

Use the full range of the Council’s procedures to address these issues.

Thank you Mr. President.

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