Thailand: lèse-majesté: UN declares another detention arbitrary, hints at crimes against humanity.

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The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD), in response to a communication submitted by FIDH, issued an opinion on November 21, 2016 that not only declared the detention of Pongsak Sriboonpeng arbitrary, demanding his immediate release with compensation, but expressed concern over the worrying pattern of arbitrary detentions for lèse-majesté and recalled that “under certain circumstances, widespread or systematic imprisonment or other severe deprivation of liberty in violation of the rules of international law, may constitute crimes against humanity.

Pongsak Sriboonpeng, a 49-year-old former tour guide, was convicted of lèse-majesté and sentenced to a 60-year jail term, subsequently reduced to 30 years, by the Bangkok Military Court on August 7, 2015. He is one of an alarmingly increasing number of individuals charged and sentenced for acts of lèse-majesté since the military coup in May 2014.

FIDH and its member organization Union for Civil Liberty (UCL) featured Pongsak’s case in their joint report 36 and counting - Lèse-majesté imprisonment under Thailand’s military junta and call on the Thai government to immediately and unconditionally release all individuals detained or imprisoned for lèse-majesté.

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