The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme 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.
The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the ongoing judicial harassment against Ms. Sirikan Charoensiri, a human rights lawyer with the organization Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), in connection with her work representing 14 activists of the Neo Democracy Movement (NDM).
According to the information received on February 2, 2016, Ms. Sirikan received a police summons dated January 29. The summons directed her to report to Bangkok’s Chanasongkram police station at 10:00 am on February 9, 2016, to hear criminal charges filed against her under Sections 172 (filing a false police report) and 368 (failure to comply with official orders) of the Criminal Code.
The charges are the result of a lawsuit filed by Ms. Sirikan against Thai police for “malfeasance” in June 2015. The lawsuit alleges that the police unduly obstructed her work as a lawyer. At the time Ms. Sirikan filed the lawsuit, a senior police officer had threatened her to file a counter suit against her.
The Observatory strongly condemns the judicial harassment against Ms. Sirikan, which is a blatant and calculated attempt to thwart her legitimate work as a human rights lawyer.
The Observatory calls on the Thai authorities to drop all charges against Ms. Sirikan, as well as against the 14 student activists, and to repeal decrees issued by the the Head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) that fail to comply with international human rights standards.