Thai human rights lawyer gave additional statement, insisted on her right to refuse to consent to warrantless search of her car

On 5 March 2016, Ms. Sirikan Charoensiri (June), one of legal representatives for the 14 New Democracy Movement activists, reported to the inquiry official to submit an additional statement and more evidence for the case which she was accused of refusing to comply with a competent official and concealing evidence, relating to the incident at night of 26 June 2015 when she did not allow police to search her car and seize her clients’ phones without warrant. Mr. Kritsadang Nutcharus, the leader of the legal representatives, also gave a testimony as a witness. อ่านเพิ่มเติม

Update on Sirikan Charoensiri’s case: Inquiry official will file the charge to await the prosecution order


3 March 2016, Ms. Sirikan Charoensiri received a summon warrant to report herself to the inquiry official at the Chana Songkram Police Station in order to be handed over to the special prosecutor in litigious division at the 3rd Sub District Court (Dusit) on 4 March 2016. The lawyer team will submit a request to postpone the date to 9 March, the date which was formerly fixed, and Sirikan will give an additional statement to the inquiry official on 5 March and 7 March at the Police Station.

Ms. Sirikan Charoensiri, a lawyer from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, was accused by police officer for refusing to comply with a competent official (Article 368 of the Criminal Code) and concealing evidence (Article 142 of the Criminal Code). This was related to the incident which Sirikan did not allow the officers to search her car without warrant in the night of 26 – 27 June 2015. She had been informed of the charge on 9 February 2016.

On 1 March 2016, Sirikan’s lawyer team had negotiated with the inquiry official of the Chana Songkram Police Station that Sirikan will give an additional statement as an alleged offender. In her defense, Mr. Kritsadang Nutcharus, one of the lawyers, will give a statement as a witness on 5 March 2016 at 9.00. Also, Mr. Anon Nampa and Ms. Ida Arunwong will give a statement as witnesses on 7 March 2016. The witness statement will be submitted alongside with the file to the prosecutor on 9 March 2016

However, today (3 March 2016) Sirikan received a summon warrant calling her to report to the inquiry official in order to be handed over to the special prosecutor in litigious division at the 3rd Sub district Court (Dusit) on 4 March 2016 at 10.00 , together with the inquiry official’s file requesting the prosecution order. Her lawyer team will file a request to have the dates fixed on 5, 7, and 9 March 2016 as originally agreed, and will file a motion to drop her charges to the prosecutor.

It should be noted that so far there is no update on the offence of giving false information concerning a criminal offence, which may likely cause damages to the other person or the public (Articles 172 and 174 of the Criminal Code) in relation to Sirikan having filed a complaint for malfeasance against police officers for illegally impounding her car.


Front Line Defenders calls on Thai authorities to cease judicial harassment of Sirikan Charoensiri from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights

Judicial harassment of human rights defender Sirikan Charoensiri

On 2 February 2016, human rights defender Ms Sirikan Charoensiri received a summons ordering her to report to Chanasongkram Police Station in Bangkok on 9 February 2016. The human rights defender is accused of making a false police report and refusing to comply with an order of a competent official.

Sirikan Charoensiri is a human rights lawyer who works with Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR). She is one of the legal representatives of the 14 student activists from the New Democracy Movement (NDM) who were arrested on 26 June 2015 after staging peaceful protests to mark the first anniversary of the military coup, which took place in May 2014.

On 2 February 2016, Sirikan Charoensiri received a summons dated 29 January 2016 ordering her to appear at Chanasongkram Police Station for questioning in relation to charges brought against her by Mr Suriya Chamnongchok, an investigating officer in the case of the 14 NDM student activists. The human rights defender had been accused of objecting to a search of her car by police officers on the night of 27 June 2015, and filing a false police report accusing the police of malfeasance in office under Article 157 of the Thai Criminal Code.

On 27 June 2015, police officers searched the car of Sirikan Charoensiri after presenting her with a court order. During the search, the police seized mobile phones belonging to the 14 NDM student activists, which had been placed in the human rights lawyer’s car before the student activists were detained a day earlier. The search came after the human rights defender had tried to lodge a complaint at Samranrat Police Station against Mr Chayapol Chatchaidej, commander of the Sixth Division of Metropolitan Police Bureau, and his subordinates, who had confiscated her car without an official arrest warrant on 26 June 2015. On that date, police officers led by Chayapol Chatchaidej locked one of the wheels of her car where it was parked in front of the Bangkok Military Court, sealed its doors and surrounded it with a metal fence. The incident took place after the human rights defender had refused to allow the police to search her car without an official search warrant. Officers at Samranrat Police Station refused to accept the human rights defender’s complaint and threatened her with legal action in response.

Front Line Defenders condemns the judicial harassment of human rights defender Sirikan Charoensiri, which it believes to be directly linked to her peaceful and legitimate work as a human rights lawyer in Thailand.

Front Line Defenders urges the authorities in Thailand to:

1. Immediately cease all judicial harassment of Sirikan Charoensiri, as Front Line Defenders believes that the charges brought against the human rights defender are solely motivated by her legitimate and peaceful work in defence of human rights;

2. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Thailand are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.

The Observatory calls on the Thai authorities to drop all charges against Ms.Sirikan, from the organization Thai Lawyers for Human Rights

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.

New information:

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.

Thailand: Ongoing judicial harassment against Ms. Sirikan Charoensiri, from the organization Thai Lawyers for Human Rights