Thai Netizen Network

Proposal for Legal Reform for Laws Concerning Freedom of Expression

In Geneva, at the 17th session of UN Human Rights Council, Thai rights groups, namely iLaw, Thai Netizen Network, and Article 112: Awareness Campaign, made a statement calling for Thai government to uphold the right to freedom of expression of individuals and demanding a legal reform for Thailand’s draconian laws, particularly the Criminal Code Article 112 (lese majeste law) and Computer Crime Act.

Backgrounds on legal framework and notable cases are available here.

The Proposal For Legal Reform For Laws Concerning Freedom Of Expression reads:

To the Thai Government:

– While there has been no amendment to CCA, lèse-majesté, and related laws as yet, those who have been charged with the laws must be granted bail and opportunities to defend themselves in transparency.
– Provide list of blocked websites and full details regarding the necessity and justification for blocking each individual website.
– Stop “asking for voluntary cooperation” from intermediaries to filtering content. And stop using licensing / regulatory power to influencing such the action.
– Stop the plan to establish an Internet governing body which dominated by national security, state intelligence, and crime suppression officers (according to the new draft of CCA in April 2011).
– Amend the CCA by eliminating all content-related provisions (i.e. making CCA to cover only violations to computer systems).
– Amend the CCA by adding exemptions or exclusions from guilt, and making certain kinds of intermediaries to be completely exempted from guilt.
– Amend the defamation law by decriminalizing it, and adding exemptions or exclusions from guilt.
– Amend the lèse-majesté law by lessening the maximum sentence of 15 years to levels in line with other constitutional monarchies (e.g. 5-years’ maximum in Norway), and/or eliminating minimum sentence.
– Amend the lèse-majesté law by making prosecution contingent upon consent of the king, queen, or heir-apparent (as in Norway).
– Amend the lèse-majesté law by adding exemptions or exclusions from guilt.

To United Nations, Embassies, and International NGOs:

– Raise the concerned issues with the Thai government at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) meeting in October 2011.
– Raise the concerned issues at relevant sessions at Human Rights Council.
– Pressure Thai government to allow all the relevant Special Rapporteurs to visit the country.

iLaw, Thai Netizen Network, and Article 112: Awareness Campaign

June 1, 2011