Updated: Release Pai

Scholars at Risk (SAR) has released a statement and appeal that expresses concern “over the arrest and continued imprisonment of Jatupat ‘Pai’ Boonpattararaksa, a Khon Kaen University law student and activist, based on nonviolent expressive activity.”

Here’s the rest of the statement:

SAR understands that on December 2, 2016, Mr. Boonpattararaksa posted a BBC Thai article about King Rama X, who ascended the throne that month, on his Facebook account. Authorities arrested him the following day, charging him under Article 112 with lèse majesté, marking the first instance of a student detained in connection with such a charge since the new king’s ascension to the throne. Although the article has reportedly been reposted by more than 2,600 others, we understand that only Mr. Boonpattararaksa was arrested and charged with a crime for doing so.

SAR further understands that Mr. Boonpattararaksa was released on bail the day after his arrest, but was re-arrested, and his bail revoked, on December 22, after he posted additional Facebook comments regarding the circumstances of his arrest and prosecution. He remains in detention.

Based on this information, SAR makes an appeal:

SAR calls for letters, emails, and faxes urging the authorities to grant Mr. Boonpattararaksa’s application for bail at his next hearing on January 20; drop any charges against him arising out of nonviolent exercise of the rights to expression, association or academic freedom; and ensure that the case against him otherwise proceeds in a manner consistent with Thailand’s obligations under international law.

The link at the head of this post takes readers to the appeal page.

Update: Prachatai has a series of articles on Pai’s case and his persecution by the military dictatorship. They are:

12 January: “Military forbids activities for detained anti-junta activist

13 January: “Activists head northeast to demand release of Pai Daodin

13 January: “Detention puts lèse majesté suspect’s education at risk

14 January: “Pai Daodin is Thailand’s Rosa Parks

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