Thailand: Siraphop Kornaroot released after almost 5 years of arbitrary detention for lèse-majesté

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Siraphop Kornaroot, a 55-year-old writer and blogger arbitrarily detained for almost five years under Thailand’s draconian lèse-majesté law, was finally released on bail today. His trial had been ongoing before the Bangkok Military Court since 24 September 2014.

FIDH and its partner organisation Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) notably brought his case before the attention of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD). In its opinion given on 24 April 2019, the UNGWAD found no legal basis for Siraphop’s detention, concluding that his detention resulted from his peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression, was thus arbitrary, and called on the Thai government to immediately release him. The UN body’s opinion, which also reiterated that Thai military courts “cannot be considered competent, independent or impartial” was submitted to the Bangkok Military Court during its latest hearing on Siraphop’s case yesterday.

Since the May 2014 coup d’état, at least 127 people have been arrested for lèse-majesté. Fifty-seven of them have been sentenced to prison terms of up to 35 years.

For further information on FIDH’s work and this case, see here

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