An open letter from the Malaysian Support Group for Democracy in Thailand on behalf of Mr. Somyot Pruksakasemsuk to those concerned with freedom of expression and political prisoners in Thailand.
30 December 2011
With reference to the campaign from 8 international human rights organizations from Asia, Europe and Canada which has requested that the Thai government releases Somyot Pruksakasemsuk and revise the law no. 112 or Lese Majeste law, I and delighted and really appreciated the meaningful movement that is being developed to protect human rights and democracy in Thailand.
Law no. 112 is a criminal law that has been in existence for a long time has severe punishments and has been used to diminish the freedom and rights of the Thai people. In the past years, there have been approximately 109 trials and more than 10,000 websites which were closed due to the violation of this law. Many people charged by this law have suffered from being detained and imprisoned for long periods without fair treatment including the right to bail
I am 50 years old and in my lifetime I have seen 4 periods of political violence in Thailand. There have been high numbers of killings of student leaders, politicians and labor unionists because of the Lese Majeste law. In addition, many people have been forced into exile to avoid punishment, violations of human rights that are being ignored by Thai society.
As a result of our movement and campaigns, involving international human rights organizations in collaboration with academic communities and labor unions we have been able to alert society to the need to revise law no.112. Thai people are becoming empowered to raise their demands for the abolition of this law, something we have not seen over the last 50 years.
I vigorously ask you to continue campaigning against this law, regardless of the personal consequences to me. Even if I spend my entire life as a political prisoner, I will not surrender until my last breath.
My faith in alliance
231 Praputabat Rd, Ni-Muaeng Sub-district