Release Pai Dao Din: Student Councils Assembly

The Student Councils Assembly of Thailand has demanded that the Thai authorities release ‘Pai Dao Din’, an anti-junta activist accused of defaming King Vajiralongkorn.

On 13 February 2017, the Students Councils Assembly of Thailand (SCAT), an umbrella organisation representing students from Thailand’s leading universities, released a statement condemning the ongoing imprisonment of Jatuphat ‘Pai’ Boonpattararaksa.

“As an organisation founded to protect the rights and liberties of students in accordance with democratic principles, [SCAT] is concerned about the judicial process of this case since the court has refused to release Jatuphat Boonpattararaksa. This is against the suspect’s human rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” reads the group statement.

The Assembly concludes that Jatuphat should be released so he may assist in gathering necessary evidence to fight his case.

Last week, the Provincial Court of Khon Kaen accepted Jatuphat’s case during an in camera hearing after the prosecutor formally indicted him under Article 112 of the Criminal Code — the lèse majesté law.

Jatuphat is accused of violating Article 112 for sharing on his Facebook account a controversial biography of King Vajiralongkorn published by BBC Thai. He is the first person to be arrested for lèse majesté under the reign of the new King.

Although more than 2000 people shared the same article on Facebook, he was the only one arrested and accused of lèse majesté.

In addition to Article 112, Jatuphat is also accused of violating Article 14 of the 2007 Computer Crime Act for the importation of illegal computer content.

The Students Councils Assembly of Thailand (SCAT) meeting at Chiang Mai University, 10-13 February 2017