The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) would like to announce a commemorative gathering to be held on Wednesday April 10th 2013 at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument, in honour of the brave heroes who died tragically on April 10th 2010.
During Wednesday’s press conference, UDD co-leaders discussed obstacles to the ongoing efforts to amend the post-coup Constitution of 2007 as well as a recent ruling by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) regarding Jatuporn Prompan’s disqualification from parliament in 2011. They also announced a commemorative rally that is being held in Bangkok on April 10th in honor of those who died during the brutal and illegal military crackdown of Red Shirt protests in 2010.
The UDD supports the Pheu Thai government’s efforts to amend the post-coup Constitution, but pro-coup forces have continuously tried, and often succeeded, to thwart the amendment process. In one such recent effort, opposition Senator Somchai Sawaengkarn has petitioned the Constitutional Court to issue an injunction against the parliamentary proceedings and dissolve the Pheu Thai party.
While the Court rejected Senator Somchai’s appeal for an injunction, it has accepted his petition to consider the constitutionality of the proposed constitutional amendments, in particular alterations to Sections 68 and 237. The UDD co-leaders expressed frustration that the amendment process is facing obstacles every step of the way.
At Ratchada Criminal Court on Monday, Sukanya Prueksakasemsuk submitted a request to appeal the decision in the case of her husband Somyot, who was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment for lèse majesté, and a previously suspended defamation conviction. She also filed a 14th bail request in the 23 months since Somyot’s arrest on April 30th 2011.
Sukanya was joined by former National Human Rights commissioner Vasant Panich who has joined Somyot’s legal team for the appeal trial. He maintains that, as acting editor of the Red Shirt magazine Voice of Thaksin, Somyot could not be criminally responsible for articles that he did not write.
Mr Vasant said,
There is no law for which Somyot could be charged. In fact, the Printing Act of 2007 ensures that editors are protected from criminal responsibility for material they haven’t authored. If the verdict stands, then that act would become obsolete.
The ramifications of the Printing Act are significant in Somyot’s case, as he was convicted on two counts of violating article 112 of the criminal code.
Sukanya and Mr Vasant have also requested that the Appeals Court listen to new witnesses. They expect a response to all requests within two weeks.