Thailand: Pro-Democracy activist and MP Chonthicha Jangrew sentenced to two years in prison

Urgent Appeal
Move Forward Party

THA 003 / 0624 / 020
Sentencing / Judicial Harassment
June 3, 2024
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Thailand.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed of the conviction of Ms Chonthicha Jangrew, a prominent pro-democracy activist and Member of Parliament from the Move Forward Party.

On May 27, 2024, the Thanyaburi Provincial Court sentenced Ms Chonthicha to three years in prison under Article 112 of the Criminal Code (lèse-majesté) [1] for a speech she gave during a peaceful demonstration in September 2021. The Court deemed her testimony valuable and reduced her sentence by one-third, resulting in a two-year prison term. On the same day the verdict was delivered, Ms Chonthicha was granted a temporary release on bail with a 150,000 THB (3,778 Euros) deposit, pending appeal. Had her application been refused or if she had been detained while awaiting the consideration of her bail application, her status as MP would have been terminated.

The Court sentenced Ms Chonthicha under Article 112, citing her speech on September 11, 2021, in front of the Thanyaburi Provincial Court in Pathum Thani Province, where she called for the release of four political prisoners. In this speech, she allegedly criticised the then-government led by then-Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha for enacting two laws that expanded King Rama X’s power over royal services and public property ownership.

In the same case, Ms Chonthicha also faced charges under the Emergency Decree, the Communicable Diseases Act of 2015, and the Advertisement by Using Sound Amplifiers Control Act of 1950, along with nine other activists. The Court dismissed these two charges.

Ms Chonthicha is also facing a second lèse-majesté case stemming from charges filed by the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) police on January 25, 2021. This case involves a Facebook post she made on November 8, 2020, as part of the "People’s Messages" campaign organised by the pro-democracy group Free Youth. In her letter to King Rama X, Ms Chonthicha criticised the royal budget and reiterated the movement’s demands for reforms of the monarchy.

The Observatory recalls that Ms Chonthicha has been facing judicial harassment and criminalisation for her commitment to pro-democracy activism for many years. On May 17 and May 21, 2019, she, along with 15 activists, was charged under Article 116 (‘sedition’) and Article 215 (‘participation in an illegal assembly’) of the Thai Criminal Code. These charges stemmed from their participation in a peaceful protest held outside the Pathumwan Police Station in Bangkok on the evening of June 24, 2015, to denounce police brutality. She was also arrested during a peaceful protest in May 2018, along with Anon Nampa, who is currently serving a total prison term of ten years and 20 days for lèse-majesté.

The Observatory notes with concern that between November 24, 2020, and May 30, 2024, 272 people, including many human rights defenders and 20 minors, were charged under Article 112 of the Criminal Code. Seventeen of them are currently detained pending trial, eight are serving prison sentences, and one minor is being detained at the Children Observation and Protection Center. On May 14, 2024, youth activist “Bung” Thaluwang, detained pre-trial under “lèse-majesté”, died in custody after a prolonged hunger strike that ended in April 2024.

The Observatory strongly condemns the sentencing and ongoing judicial harassment against Ms Chonthicha Jangrew. These actions appear to be solely aimed at punishing her for her legitimate human rights activities and the exercise of her rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
The Observatory calls on the Thai authorities to immediately and unconditionally end all forms of judicial harassment against her and all pro-democracy activists currently prosecuted.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Thailand asking them to:
 Guarantee in all circumstances the physical integrity and psychological well-being of Ms Chonthicha Jangrew and all other human rights defenders and pro-democracy activists in Thailand;
 Quash the convictions against Ms Chonthicha Jangrew, cease all acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, against her and all other human rights defenders and pro-democracy activists in the country, and ensure that they are able to carry out their legitimate activities without any hindrance and fear of reprisals;
 Guarantee in all circumstances the rights to freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly, as enshrined in international human right law, and particularly in Articles 19 and 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Thailand is a state party;
 Refrain from using Article 112 of the Criminal Code to target human rights defenders and pro-democracy activists.


• Mr. Srettha Thavisin, Prime Minister of Thailand, Email:
• Mr. Maris Sangiampongsa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, Email:
• Mr. Tawee Sodsong, Minister of Justice of Thailand, Email:
• General Songwit Noonpackdee, Commander in Chief of the Army, Email:
• Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas, Commissioner-General of the Police, Email:
• Ms. Pornprapai Ganjanarinte, National Human Rights Commissioner of Thailand, Email:,
• H.E. Ms. Usana Berananda, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Thailand to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Email:
• H.E. Mrs. Kanchana Patarachoke, Ambassador-designate, Embassy of Thailand to Belgium and Luxembourg, and Head of Mission of Thailand to the European Union, Belgium, Email:

Please also write to the diplomatic representatives of Thailand in your respective countries.

Geneva-Paris, June 3, 2024

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 the World Organisation Against Torture (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, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
• E-mail:
• Tel FIDH: + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18
• Tel OMCT: + 41 22 809 49 39

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