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Thailand–Update: Verdict in case of human rights defender Ms Chiranuch Premchaiporn postponed until 30 May 2012
On 30 April 2012, the Ratchadapisek Criminal Court postponed its verdict concerning the case of Ms Chiranuch Premchaiporn until 30 May 2012. The court was due to deliver its verdict on 30 April 2012.
Chiranuch Premchaiporn is the Executive Director of Prachatai, an alternative news website which reports on human rights and social issues in Thailand and Southeast Asia.
Chiranuch Premchaipron was charged under the Computer Crime Act for her role as the webmaster of Prachatai web forum, which was set up to encourage open discussions online. Her trial took place in February 2011. It was postponed to September 2011 and concluded in February 2012. If found guilty, Chiranuch Premchaiporn could face the maximum sentence of 20 years in prison or a fine of 1,000,000 Thai Baht (€ 23,000).
A representative from Front Line Defenders was at the Criminal Court on 30 April 2012. Judge Nittaya Yaemsri stated that more time was needed to examine documentation on the case. Approximately eighty supporters of Chiranuch Premchaiporn were present, as well as a large contingent of national and international media and human rights NGOs. The EU Delegation to Thailand, representatives from the British Embassy and diplomats from the Embassy of Finland and the Embassy of Sweden were also present.
Chiranuch Premchaiporn was the recipient of the International Women's Media Foundation “Courage in Journalism” Award in May 2011 and the Human Rights Watch Hellman/Hammet Award in September 2011.
For more information, please see Front Line Defenders' original urgent appeal and updates: 5 November 2010 (http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/13727) 30 August 2011 (http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/16043) 13 November 2011 (http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/16198) 20 April 2012 (http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/18078)
You can find additional information on the situation for human rights Defenders in Thailand. HERE