Free Unjustly Imprisoned Political Activist in Thailand

Target: Chief Justice of Thailand Sobchok Sukharomna

Goal: Free political activist Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for publishing articles critical of the monarchy

Recently, a court in Thailand sentenced political activist Somyot Pruksakasemsuk to 10 years in prison. His crime was insulting the King of Thailand in articles published in a magazine Somyot edited. Somyot and the magazine have been aligned with an anti-government movement in Thailand, and it is suspected that this movement is why Somyot was arrested. This sentence has been criticized as a denial of free speech.

Somyot was the editor of a Thai magazine that published two articles in 2010 that were deemed insulting to the monarchy. Somyot has been detained without bail for these anonymously-written articles since 2011. Somyot’s sentence has been criticized as a denial of free speech, as he was arrested not for writing these articles, but merely publishing them. As a magazine editor, he should have been allowed the right to publish whatever articles he saw fit. However, this right was taken from him.

Somyot’s sentence is especially harsh for his “crime.” Many suspect that he is not being punished for insulting the monarchy, but instead for his association with an anti-government movement. According to Amnesty International, “Authorities in Thailand have in recent years increasingly used legislation…to silence peaceful dissent and imprison prisoners of conscience.” This abuse of power has led to an innocent man being imprisoned for a decade. Demand that Somyot be freed today.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chief Justice Sukharomna,

Recently, political activist Somyot Pruksakasemsuk was sentenced to 10 years in prison for insulting the monarchy. He published two anonymously written articles in a magazine which he edited that were deemed insulting. Although Somyot was not the writer of these articles, he has been detained without bail since 2011 for their perceived insult. His right of free speech has been taken from him.

I ask you to free Somyot Pruksakasemsuk. He is not being punished for his involvement with these articles, but instead for his involvement with anti-government movements. His involvement with these movements is legal, and so in retaliation he has been severely punished for a minor ‘crime’. He did not write the articles, and should not be punished as he is. Free Somyot and end this injustice.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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Signatures

  • Stefano Serpico
  • Betty J. Van Wicklen
  • Ginger Hill
  • Ginger Hill
  • Hans Nilsen
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  • Jan-Paul Alon
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