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Thailand: Update – Next hearing in trial of of human rights defender Mr Somyot Prueksakasemsuk's postponed until 19 December 2012
The Thai Criminal Court has postponed the next hearing in the trial of human rights defender Mr Somyot Prueksakasemsuk until 19 December 2012.
The hearing had been scheduled to take place on 19 September, during which it was expected a date for the verdict would have been announced.
Somyot Prueksakasemsuk is a human rights defender and a labour rights activist. He has been in detention since 30 May 2011 and is charged with contravening Section 112 of the Thai Criminal Code, commonly known as the lèse majesté law. All 11 bail applications submitted by his lawyer thus far have been rejected by the court.According to information received, the hearing has been postponed due to the complaint lodged by Somyot Prueksakasemsuk's lawyer to the Constitutional Court asking the Court to determine whether or not the lèse majesté law is constitutional. The Criminal Court must now wait for the Constitutional Court's ruling before reaching a verdict.
Front Line Defenders has called on the Thai authorities on a number of occasions to, at the very minimum, grant Somyot Prueksaksemsuk his right to bail in line with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Thailand is a party. Given the fact that this delay means that by 19 December 2012 Somyot Prueksaksemsuk will have spent 19 months in detention, Front Line Defenders urgently reiterates its call.