Thursday, 21 September 2017

A plaque of Jatupat's face on the wall of honor

A plaque of Pai Jatupat's face has been added on the May 18 Memorial Foundation wall of honor.

A student activist and human rights defender Jatupat Boonpattararaksa  has been detained since 3 December 2016 for a lese majeste charge resulting from his sharing a BBC article on the life of King Vajiralongkorn on social media. 

In August, the Provincial Court of Khon Kaen sentenced Jatupat to two and a half years imprisonment for violating Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law. Jatupat was originally sentenced to five years in jail, however this sentence was reduced after he pleaded guilty.

Since the military staged a coup in 2014, the so-called National Council for Peace and Order has been accused of using lese-majeste, sedition and cyber crime laws arbitrarily to crack down on activists. Jatupat became a target of the military and the police because he has fiercely fought for Thailand democracy.

Jatupat is the head of a student activist group called Dao Din at Khon Kaen University in north eastern Thailand, which advocates for democracy, social justice and human rights.

Jatupat has been doing a lot of human rights activities for the benefit of the public and he has been awarded a prestigious human rights award while awaiting for his sentence in prison. However, Jatupat  remained in detention under the country's harsh lese majesty law and the human rights award for Jatupat, was received by his parents on his behalf.

The Gwangju Prize for Human Rights is an award recognizing individuals or organisations that have made contributions to building human rights and bringing peace to the society. The award is given by the May 18 Memorial Foundation that was set up in 1994 to commemorate the democratic upheaval on May 18, 1980 that took away the life of hundreds of citizens in Gwangju, south of Korea. 

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