THAILAND: Lawyer Anon Nampa arrested in Bangkok
The OIAD denounces in the strongest possible terms the arrest of lawyer Anon Nampa after he attended a rally calling for reform of monarchy.
Mr Anon Nampa is an eminent human right lawyer and member of the human rights award winner Thai Lawyers for Human Rights -TLHR. This award was presented to the organization by the French Embassy in Bangkok on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day on December 10th, 2014. Already arrested earlier this month before being released on bail, Anon Nampa has been arrested again for a third time on August 25th, and prosecuted for sedition over his role in a political rally where calls were made for reforms to the country’s monarchy.
Mr. Anon Nampa calls for the withdrawal of Thailand’s lese majeste law, which punishes criticism of the monarchy with up to 15 years of prison.
This arrest comes in a context where police has arrested student leaders, rappers and activists for participating in demonstrations against the military junta.
Such harassment and prosecution committed to the detriment of a lawyer is a breach of international standards.
The OIAD urges the Thai authorities to respect the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, adopted by the United Nations in Havana in 1990, which provide 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.“ (Principle No. 23).
The OIAD is concerned about the charges against him and the risk of serious and disproportionate punishment and lawyers and calls for the immediate release of Mr Anon Nampa and the abandonment of prosecutions.
The OIAD will follow with attention the follow-up given to this serious violation of the rights of lawyer.