Judicial harassment against lawyer Arnon Nampha
Lawyers for Lawyers is concerned about the alleged harassment of human rights lawyer Arnon Nampha. Anon Nampha reported to the police on 5 on March 2015. He had been accused of “importing into a computer false information which may damage national security” under Article 14(2) of the Computer Crimes Act, for posting five Facebook messages. In the messages, Arnon criticized the role of the military in the administration of justice under martial law. If prosecuted and found guilty, Arnon faces up to 25 years in jail and a fine of up to 500,000 Thai baht (approximately 14,135 Euros).
Arnon posted the five messages on Facebook while in police custody on 14 February 2015. On that day, police arrested Arnon, along with three anti-coup activists, on charges of violating National Council for Peace and Order’s order, which prohibits public gatherings of more than five people. The four were arrested while they were in the process of organizing an event to mark the one-year anniversary of the annulled Thai general election in February 2014. All four human rights defenders were released on bail one day later after being detained and interrogated for more than nine hours.
Lawyers for Lawyers is worried about the situation of Arnon Nampha, and is currently considering what actions to take.
Background information about Arnon Nampha
Arnon Nampa works for the local organization Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR). TLHR was established by a group of lawyers in May 2014 to provide legal assistance to alleged and so-called “lèse-majesté” violators and activists targeted by the authorities following the 22 May military coup. The “lèse-majesté” laws protect the most senior members of Thailand’s royal family from insult or threat. Human rights groups say the “lèse-majesté” laws have been used as a political weapon to stifle free speech especially since last May’s military takeover.
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