Letter to the Lawyers Council of Thailand on disbarment proceedings against Anon Nampha
In a joint letter, Lawyers for Lawyers and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), expressed concerns about the disbarment proceedings against lawyer and human rights defender Mr. Anon Nampha, and urged the Lawyers Council of Thailand to dismiss the complaint motion.
During a peaceful protest at the Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Avenue on 3 August 2020, Mr. Anon Nampha’s allegedly called for a reform of the monarchy. Subsequently, on the 7th of August 2020, a complaint was filed with the Lawyers Council of Thailand against Mr. Anon Nampha by Mr. Aphiwat Khanthong, Assistant Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, who claimed to be acting in his capacity as private attorney. Mr. Aphiwat Khanthong alleged that Mr. Anon Nampha violated the Lawyers Council of Thailand’s disciplinary rules, as his behaviour would “incite, intend to cause unrest, distort information and insult on the monarchy”.
On the 19th of august, Mr. Nampha was arrested by the police for his participation in the protest. It has been reported that before the arrest on the 19th of August 2020, Mr. Nampha had been arrested several times in connection to his participation in peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations. On the 11th of September, 2020, Lawyers for Lawyers expressed its concern about the harassment and arrests of Mr. Nampha.
In the joint letter of February 1, 2021, Lawyers for Lawyers and ICJ, disclosed concern that the disbarment proceedings will unduly interfere with Mr. Nampha’s work as a lawyer, including his representation of clients, and serve to impair the exercise of his human rights, including the right to freedom of expression.
The right to freedom of expression is protected in international human rights law, including by article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Thailand is a State Party. The UNHRC has affirmed in its General Comment No. 34 that protections for freedom of expression and opinion should extend to political discourse, commentary on public affairs and discussion of human rights.
Moreover, the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers specify in Principle 23 “Freedom of expression and association” that “Lawyers like other citizens are entitled to freedom of expression, belief, association and assembly. In particular, they shall have the right to take part in public discussion of matters concerning the law, the administration of justice and the promotion and protection of human rights and to join or form local, national or international organizations and attend their meetings without suffering professional restrictions by reason of their lawful action or their membership in a lawful organization”.
Furthermore, on the 21st of August 2020, the Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA), the Union for Civil Liberties (UCL) and at least 264 Thai lawyers signed an open letter to the Lawyers Council of Thailand urging the dismissal of the motion against Mr. Nampha, because, inter alia, “none of the Regulation of the Lawyers Council on Conduct of Lawyers B.E. 2529 (1986) appears to support the reasons cited by Mr. Aphiwat Khanthong which may justify the debarment of Mr. Anon”.
Lawyers for Lawyers and the ICJ called on the Lawyers Council of Thailand to take into account and respect international law and internationally recognized principles on the role of lawyers and to dismiss the complaint motion against Mr. Anon Nampha.
Meer nieuws uit Thailand
Harassment of Anon Nampa
Lawyers for Lawyers is concerned about the recent harassment of prominent Thai human rights lawyer Anon Nampa. On 7 August 2020, Mr. Nampa, who defends the fundamental rights of the Thai people, was arrested in connection with his participation inLees verder
16 years since disappearance Somchai Neelapaijit
Sixteen years ago, Thai human rights lawyer Somchai Neelapaijit disappeared and he is currently still missing. Until now, no perpetrators have been held accountable for his disappearance. Somchai disappeared on 12 March 2004, one day after he had publicly accused the policeLees verder
Charges dropped against Sirikan Charoensiri
On 27 August 2019, Thai human rights lawyer and laureate of the Lawyers for Lawyers Award 2017 Sirikan ‘June’ Charoensiri was informed at the Chanasongkram Police Station that the Attorney General had issued a non-prosecution order in one case againstLees verder
Somchai Neelapaijit 15 jaar vermist
Vijftien jaar na de verdwijning van de Thaise mensenrechtenadvocaat Somchai Neelapaijit wordt hij nog altijd vermist. Tot op heden zijn geen daders verantwoordelijk gehouden voor Somchai’s verdwijning. Somchai verdween op 12 maart 2004, een dag nadat hij de politie openlijk had beschuldigdLees verder