Thailand: Arbitrary detention and subsequent release on bail of pro-democracy activist Mr. Rangsiman Rome

29/06/2017
Urgent Appeal

THA 002 / 0617 / OBS 072
Arbitrary detention / Release on bail /
Judicial harassment /
Travel ban
Thailand
June 29, 2017

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Thailand.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the arbitrary detention and subsequent release on bail of pro-democracy activist Mr. Rangsiman Rome, Coordinator of the Democracy Restoration Group (DRG) [1] and a former member of the New Democracy Movement (NDM) [2].

According to the information received, on June 25, 2017, Mr. Rangsiman Rome was arrested at Bangkok City Library, detained at Chanasongkram police station in Bangkok, and subsequently taken to Bang Sao Thong police station in Samut Prakan Province. Mr. Rangsiman’s arrest was the result of an arrest warrant issued by the Bangkok Military Court and executed in connection with the alleged violation of Article 61 of the Referendum Act and National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Order no. 3/2015 on June 23, 2016. On that day, Mr. Rangsiman distributed flyers that called for a “no” vote in the constitutional referendum that was held on August 7, 2016.

Mr. Rangsiman’s arrest occurred a few hours before he was due to speak at an event commemorating the 85th anniversary of the ‘1932 Siamese Revolution’ [3], entitled “Start Up People: Start Up Talk & Music” and on the eve of the submission by the DRG of a petition to the ruling military junta demanding transparency over a planned Thai-Chinese railway project.

On June 26, 2017, the Bangkok Military Court ordered the release of Mr. Rangsiman on a 60,000 THB bail (approximately 1,575 Euros), on condition that he refrains from traveling abroad and participating in political gatherings. These conditions are inconsistent with Thailand’s obligations under Articles 12 and 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). As of publishing this Urgent Appeal, no date had been set up for Mr. Rangsiman’s trial.

The Observatory recalls that Thai authorities have a long record of judicial harassment against Mr. Rangsiman, who was arbitrarily detained on several occasions [4].

The Observatory expresses its concern over the arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of Mr. Rangsiman, which only aim at punishing him for his peaceful and legitimate human rights activities, aiming at promoting freedom of expression in Thailand.

The Observatory urges Thai authorities to put an end to any act of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Mr. Rangsiman and to immediately lift all restrictions on his rights to freedom of movement and freedom of peaceful assembly.

Actions requested:

Please write to the Thai authorities asking them to:

i. Put an end to any kind of harassment - including at the judicial level - against Mr. Rangsiman Rome, as well as all human rights defenders in Thailand;

ii. Guarantee in all circumstances Mr. Rangsiman Rome’s rights to freedom of movement and freedom of peaceful assembly by immediately and unconditionally lifting the ban on overseas travel and the participation in political gatherings;

iii. Conform to the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, in particular with its Articles 1, 5(a), and 12.2;

iv. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Thailand.

Addresses:

· Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, Prime Minister of Thailand, Fax: +66 (0) 2 282 5131
· Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, Fax: +66 (0) 2 643 5320; Email: minister@mfa.go.th
· Mr. Suwaphan Tanyuvardhna, Minister of Justice of Thailand, Fax: +66 (0) 2 953 0503
· Pol Gen Chaktip Chaijinda, Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police, Fax: +66 (0) 2 251 5956 / +66 (0) 2 251 8702
· Mr. Wat Tingsamit, Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand, Email: help@nhrc.or.th
· H.E. Mr. Thani Thongphakdi, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Thailand to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: + 41 22 715 10 00 / 10 02; Email: mission.thailand@ties.itu.int
· Embassy of Thailand in Brussels, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 648 30 66; Email: thaibxl@pophost.eunet.be

Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of Thailand in your respective country

***
Paris-Geneva, June 29, 2017

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by FIDH and OMCT. The objective of this programme is to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:

Email: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
Tel and fax FIDH: + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
Tel and fax OMCT: + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

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