Court dismissed a habeas corpus motion into unlawful detention of activist arrested from hospital

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15 Dec 2015- The Criminal Court dismissed a habeas corpus motion under Article 90 of the Criminal Procedure Code requesting for inquest into the unlawful detention of Mr. Thanet Anantawong, finding the case ungrounded.

Yesterday (14 December 2015), Mr. Sirawit Seritiwat, conjoining with the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), had filed a motion under Article 90 of the Criminal Procedure Code to the Criminal Court to request for inquest into the unlawful detention of Mr. Thanet Anantawong. The Criminal Court took the motion as pending case No. Sor. 98/2558 and made an appointment for the order on 15 December 2015 at 13.30

The motion stated that on 13 December 2015 around 12.30, Mr. Thanet Anantawong, during being admitted to the Sirindhorn Hospital with intestinal infection and awaiting an operation, was arrested by plain-clothes officers. At that time, Mr. Piyarat Chongthep and other friend who were visiting Mr. Thanet witnessed him being taken away by officers. The officers did not introduce names or the unit they were from, did not inform the reason for which Thanet was arrested or place in which he would be remanded, and did not show an arrest warrant. Mr. Thanet’s friend received contact from the 11th Military Circle, on Nakhon Chaisri Road, Bangkok, to deliver Thanet’s medicine. However, he was not allowed to visit or talk to Thanet. No one has ever hear from or about Mr. Thanet again since then.

The Thai Lawyers for Human Rights deems that Mr. Thanet’s detention is unlawful, as the officers did not show their names, their unit, an arrest warrant, and did not notify charges as indicated in the Criminal Code. Nor was the case a flagrant offence that the police officer can arrest without a warrant. It did not appear that any inquiry officer had taken Mr. Thanet to seek the order for detention at the Court, and nobody can contact him since. This is an arbitrary arrest and detention, and it is obstructing Mr. Thanet’s right to health care. The detention is unlawful and is a violation of human rights.

The Thai Lawyers for Human Rights then filed a motion to request the Criminal Court to release Mr. Thanet , and to issue an order to summon military officers of the 11th Military Circle, on Nakhon Chaisri Road, Bangkok for inquiry, and to bring Thanet before the Court as well.

However, today (15 December 2015) the Court considered the circumstances stated in the motion that Mr. Sirawit as the applicant referred to Mr. Piyarat’s words that he saw Thanet being taken from Sirindhorn Hospital by plainclothes on 13 December around 12.30 , were only a hearsay evidence. There was no affirmative that Thanet was unlawfully detained. Moreover, the Court found the statement that Thanet knew about his arrest warrant by reading news from his friend’s mobile phone so he did not show intention to run away and rather surrender to prove his guilt, but was then captured in the operating room, a contradiction to the motion which claimed that Thanet was unlawfully arrested.

The court then considered the matter of facts of the motion not sufficiently grounded to be taken for further inquiry according to the Article 90 of Criminal Procedure Code, and dismissed the motion.

*Section 90 of the Criminal Procedure Code states that, where any person is alleged to be unlawfully confined in a criminal case or in any other event, the following persons shall be entitled to submit a motion to the court empowered to exercise criminal jurisdiction over such locality for release of the person in question:

The person in question himself.

The public prosecutor.

The inquirer.

The prison governor or official.

A spouse or relative of the person in question or any other person for his sake. Upon receipt of such application, the court shall instantaneously hold a hearing ex parte.

Deeming the motion is well-grounded, the court shall be authorised to, by order, direct the person carrying such confinement to bring the person in question before it without delay. And if the person carrying the confinement is unable to satisfy the court that such confinement is lawful, the court shall, by order, release the person in question at once.

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By Thai Lawyers for Human Rights Posted in News Update

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