Int’l academics petition Thai PM to amend lèse majesté laws, free political prisoners

February 1, 2012

HE Yingluck Shinawatra

Prime Minister
Government House
Phitsanulok Road, Dusit District
Bangkok 10300

Thailand

Fax: +66-2288-4016

 

1 February 2012

 

Your Excellency,

As concerned international observers of Thailand, we stand in solidarity with our colleagues in the Campaign Committee for the Amendment of Article 112, led by the most respected Thai scholars Dr. Charnvit Kasetsiri, Dr. Nidhi Aeosriwong, and Dr. Pasuk Phongpaichit, in calling for the reform of Article 112 of the Criminal Code. We have watched with growing unease over the last five years since the 19 September 2006 coup as the number of people charged and prosecuted has multiplied exponentially in the service of repression, while the violation of the basic rights of those who face lèse majesté accusations – including the denial of bail and the denial of the right to an open trial – has become routine.

In recent months, the harshest sentence to date under Article 112 was given to Mr. Ampon (a.k.a. Ah-Kong), who was sentenced on 23 November 2011 to 20 years in prison for allegedly sending four SMS messages with anti-monarchy content. There are many known cases in which charges have been filed and prosecutions carried out over the last five years, as well as an unknown number which have not been made public but which court statistics indicate have taken place. Adding an additional layer of concern to the use of Article 112, anyone can currently file a complaint of a violation with the police, who are then compelled to investigate fully. This is of particular concern as the growth in the number of accusations leveraged and prosecutions carried out under Article 112 has occurred as Thai society has become increasingly polarized along political and ideological lines. Within this context, Article 112 has become a powerful tool to silence political dissent, and in particular, any dissent interpreted as disloyalty to the institution of the monarchy. There is no political space in present-day Thailand to publicly discuss the role and future of the monarchy under democracy, which is a crucial subject for the country at the moment.

The harsh and disproportionate lengths of the prison sentences given out under Article 112 have devastated the individuals sentenced and their families. Grandfathers have been wrenched from the grandchildren and fathers and husbands from their children and wives. Yet these sentences, which are comparable to those given for drug trafficking and violent crime, also work powerfully to create fear among Thai citizens writ large. When citizens cannot be certain if, or when, a knock at the door is going to come for a message they have written, an article they have posted online or another action deemed to be disloyal, action and thought are constricted. As long as this occurs, the full exercise of human rights cannot occur in Thailand.

We stand with the Campaign Committee for the Amendment of Article 112 because reform is necessary to protect the basic rights of Thai citizens and support the consolidation of democracy and the rule of law in a broad sense.  The amendment draft proposed by the Khana Nitirat will address the crises engendered by the abuse of Article 112 by making the punishment reasonable and proportionate to the crime, limiting who can file a complaint with the Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary rather than any citizen, differentiating sincere and truthful criticism from threats to the monarchy, and treating violations of Article 112 as those within the legal category of insulting the honor of the monarchy, rather than the category of violations of national security.

We urge you to consider the proposed amendment without delay.

 

Sincerely,

(Alphabetical by family name)

 

• Patricio N. Abinales

Professor, School of Pacific and Asian Studies

University of Hawaii-Manoa

 

• Tariq Ali

Writer

 

• Nadje Al-Ali

Professor of Gender Studies

School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)

 

• Robert B. Albritton

Professor, Department of Political Science
University of Mississippi

 

• Dennis Altman, AM FASSA

Professor of Politics and Director of the Institute for Human Security

LaTrobe University

 

• Gene Ammarell

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Ohio University

 

• Barbara Watson Andaya

Professor of Asian Studies

University of Hawai’i

 

• Dennis Arnold

Lecturer

Maastricht University

 

• Edward Aspinall

Professor, Department of Political and Social Change

Australian National University

 

• Chris Baker

Independent Scholar

 

• Joshua Barker

Associate Professor of Anthropology

University of Toronto

 

• Frieda Behets

Professor of Epidemiology and Research Professor of Medicine

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 

• Peter Bell

Emeritus Professor

State University of New York at Purchase

 

• Trude Bennett

Associate Professor, Gillings School of Global Public Health

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 

• Chris Berry,

Professor of Film & TV Studies, Department of Media & Communications

Goldsmiths, University of London

 

• Robert J. Bickner

Professor (Thai), Department of Languages and Cultures of Asia

University of Wisconsin

 

• Julia Bindman

London, UK

 

• David JH Blake

PhD Candidate, School of International Development, Faculty of Social Sciences

University of East Anglia, Norwich

 

• John Borneman

Professor of Anthropology

Princeton University

 

• Katherine Bowie

Professor of Anthropology

University of Wisconsin-Madison

 

• Francis Bradley

Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences and Cultural Studies

Pratt Institute

 

• Shaun Breslin

Professor, Department of Politics and International Studies

University of Warwick

 

• Lisa Brooten

Associate Professor, College of Mass Communication and Media Arts

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

 

• Andrew Brown

Lecturer

University of New England

 

• James Buchanan

MA, Southeast Asian Studies

School of Oriental and African Studies

 

• Poowin Bunyavejchewin

Alumnus

University of Hull

 

• Michael Burawoy

Professor of Sociology

University of California, Berkeley

 

• Pongphisoot Busbarat

Research Associate, Department of Political & Social Change

Australian National University

 

• Peter Carey

Emeritus Fellow in History, Trinity College

Oxford University

 

• Toby Carroll

Senior Research Fellow, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

National University of Singapore

 

• Pavin Chachavalpongpun

Fellow

Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

 

• Dipesh Chakrabarty

Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor, Department of History and

Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations

The University of Chicago

 

• Dae-oup Chang, Senior Lecturer

Department of Development Studies

School of Oriental and African Studies

 

• Professor Hilary Charlesworth

Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and Director and the Center for

International Governance and Justice

Australian National University

 

• Pheng Cheah

Professor, Department of Rhetoric

University of California at Berkeley

 

• Nicholas Cheesman

Projects Officer

Asian Legal Resource Centre

 

• Professor Noam Chomsky

Institute Professor (retired)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

 

• Professor John Clark

Professor of Asian Art History and ARC Professorial Fellow

University of Sydney

 

• Peter A. Coclanis

Department of History

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

 

• Professor Joshua Cohen

Marta Sutton Weeks Professor of Ethics in Society

Stanford University

 

• Paul T. Cohen

Senior Research Fellow, Department of Anthropology

Macquarie University

 

• Elizabeth Fuller Collins

Professor, Classics & World Religions, Southeast Asian Studies Program

Ohio University

 

• Michael Kelly Connors

Associate Professor, School of Social Sciences

La Trobe University

 

• Jason Cons

Postdoctoral Fellow in Development Sociology

Cornell University

 

• Christopher Cramer

Professor of the Political Economy of Development

School of Oriental and African Studies

 

• Altha Cravey

Associate Professor of Geography,

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

 

• Simon Creak

Associate Professor, Center for Southeast Asian Studies

Kyoto University

 

• Vicki Crinis

Research Fellow

University of Wollongong

 

• Michael Cullinane
Associate Director, Center for Southeast Asian Studies

University of Wisconsin-Madison

 

• Susan M. Darlington

Professor of Anthropology and Asian Studies

Hampshire College

 

• Tony Day

Visiting Professor of History

Wesleyan University

 

• Bina D’Costa

Fellow, Research School of Asian and Pacific Studies

Australian National University

 

• Heather D’Cruz

Adjunct Research Associate, Centre for Human Rights Education

Curtin University of Technology

 

• Deirdre de la Cruz

Assistant Professor, Asian Languages and Cultures and History

University of Michigan

 

• Arif Dirlik,

Knight Professor of Social Science (retired)

University of Oregon

 

• Ariel Dorfman

Author and Distinguished Professor

Duke University

 

• Ian Down

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

 

• George Dutton

Vice Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

University of California, Los Angeles

 

• Nancy Eberhardt

Professor of Anthropology

Knox College

 

• Pilapa Esara

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology

The College at Brockport (State University of New York)

 

• Grant Evans

Senior Research Fellow

Ecole Francaise d’Extreme Orient

 

• Brett Farmer

Lecturer, BALAC Program, Faculty of Arts

Chulalongkorn University

 

• Nicholas Farrelly

Research Fellow, School of International, Political and Strategic Studies

Australian National University

 

• Didier Fassin

James D. Wolfensohn Professor of Social Science

Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

 

• Jane M. Ferguson

Lecturer, School of Culture, History, and Language

Australian National University

 

• Federico Ferrara

Assistant Professor

City University of Hong Kong

 

• Jessica Fields

Associate Professor of Sociology

San Francisco State University

 

• Thamora Fishel

Outreach Coordinator

Cornell Southeast Asia Program

 

• Tim Forsyth

Reader in Environment and Development, Department of International Development

London School of Economics and Political Science

 

• Nancy Fraser

Henry A. & Louise Loeb Professor of Philosophy and Politics

New School for Social Research

 

• Arnika Fuhrmann

Research Scholar

University of Hong Kong.

 

• David Fullbrook

Graduate Student

National University of Singapore

 

• Narayanan Ganesan

Professor

Hiroshima Peace Institute

 

• Lisa Gardner

Journalist

 

• Paul K. Gellert

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology

University of Tennessee

 

• Kenneth M. George

Professor of Anthropology

University of Wisconsin-Madison

 

• Amitav Ghosh

Author

 

• Tamra Gilbertson

Carbon Trade Watch

Barcelona, Spain

 

• Henry A. Giroux

Global Television Network Chair, Department of English and Cultural Studies

McMaster University

 

• Jim Glassman

Associate Professor of Geography

University of British Columbia

 

• Lawrence Grossberg

Morris Davis Distinguished Professor of Communication Studies

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 

• Geoffrey C. Gunn

Professor of International Relations, Faculty of Economics

Nagasaki University

 

• Tyrell Haberkorn

Research Fellow, Department of Political and Social Change

Australian National University

 

• Vedi Hadiz

Professor of Asian Societies and Politics, Asia Research Centre

Murdoch University

 

• Jeffrey Hadler

Associate Professor, Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies

University of California, Berkeley

 

• Shahar Hameiri

Senior Lecturer in International Politics, School of Social Science and Humanities,

Murdoch University

 

• Annette Hamilton

Professor, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

University of New South Wales

 

• Paul Handley

Journalist and Author of The King Never Smiles

 

• Eva Hansson

Senior Lecturer, Department of Political Science

Stockholm University, Sweden

 

• Harry Harootunian

Adjunct Professor, Weatherhead East Asian Institute,

Columbia University Visiting Professor, Literature Program,

Duke University

 

• Rachel Harrison

Reader in Thai Cultural Studies

SOAS, University of London

 

• Gillian Hart

Professor of Geography & Chair of Development Studies

University of California, Berkeley

 

• Paul Healy

Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities

University of New England

 

• Steve Heder

Faculty of Law and Social Sciences

School of Oriental and African Studies

 

• Chris Hedges

Author

 

• Sascha Helbardt

Lecturer for Southeast Asian Studies

University of Passau

 

• Dagmar Hellmann-Rajanayagam

Associate Professor for Southeast Asian Studies

University of Passau

 

• Ariel Heryanto

Associate Professor, Southeast Asia Centre

Australian National University

 

• Kevin Hewison

Professor of Asian Studies

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

 

• Allen Hicken

Associate Professor

University of Michigan

 

• Maureen Helen Hickey

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Asia Research Institute

National University of Singapore

 

• CJ Hinke

Independent Scholar

Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT)

 

• Scott A. Hipsher

Visiting Professor, Fort Hays State University

Hays, Kansas USA (China Campus)

 

• Philip Hirsch

Professor of Human Geography

University of Sydney

 

• Preedee Hongsaton

PhD Candidate

Australian National University

 

• Alexander Horstmann

Senior Research Affiliate

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Ethnic and Religious Diversity

 

• Thomas Hoy

Lecturer

Thammasat University

 

• Caroline Hughes

Director, Asia Research Centre

Murdoch University

 

• Adadol Ingawanij

Senior Research Fellow

Westminster University

 

• Feyzi Ismail

Doctoral candidate

School of Oriental and African Studies

 

• Soren Ivarsson

Associate Professor

University of Copenhagen

 

• Peter A. Jackson

Professor of Thai History, College of Asia and the Pacific

Australian National University

 

• Arne Kalleberg

Professor of Sociology

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 

• Ward Keeler

Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology

University of Texas at Austin

 

• Charles Keyes

Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and International Studies

University of Washington

 

• Khoo Boo Teik

Political analyst and author

Member, Aliran Kesedaran Negara, Penang, Malaysia

 

• Khoo Gaik Cheng

Lecturer

Australian National University

 

• Ben Kiernan

Whitney Griswold Professor of History

Yale University

 

• Sung Chull Kim

Professor

Hiroshima Peace Institute

 

• Damien Kingsbury

Professor and Director, Centre for Citizenship, Development and Human

Rights, Faculty of Arts and Education

Deakin University

 

• Sherryl Kleinman

Professor, Department of Sociology

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

 

• H. Ruediger Korff

Professor for Southeast Asian Studies

University of Passau

 

• Andrew Alan Johnson

Postdoctoral Fellow, Asia Research Institute

National University of Singapore

 

• Lee Jones

Lecturer in International Politics, School of Politics & International Relations

Queen Mary, University of London

 

• Hjorleifur Jonsson

Associate Professor of Anthropology, School of Human Evolution and Social Change

Arizona State University

 

• Sarah Joseph

Director, Castan Centre for Human Rights Law

Monash University

 

• John Langer

Honorary Fellow, School of Communication and the Arts

Victoria University

 

• Tomas Larsson

Lecturer, Department of Politics and International Studies

Cambridge University

 

• Laurids S. Lauridsen

Professor

Roskilde University

 

• Doreen Lee

Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Northeastern University

 

• Namhee Lee

Associate Professor of Modern Korean History, Department of Asian

Languages & Cultures

University of California, Los Angeles

 

• Christian C. Lentz

Assistant Professor, Department of Geography

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

 

• Samson Lim

Assistant Professor, Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Singapore University of Technology and Design

 

• Peter Limqueco

Co-Editor, Journal of Contemporary Asia

 

• Larry Lohmann

The Corner House, UK

 

• Tamara Loos

Associate Professor of Southeast Asian History

Cornell University

 

• Gregore Pio Lopez

PhD Candidate, Crawford School of Economics and Government

Australian National University

 

• Trevor H.J. Marchand

Professor of Social Anthropology

School of Oriental and African Studies

 

• Thomas Marois

Lecturer in Development Studies

School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

 

• Andrew MacGregor Marshall

Freelance journalist and author

 

• Geoff Mann

Associate Professor

Simon Fraser University

 

• Mary E. McCoy

Lecturer & Outreach Coordinator

University of Wisconsin-Madison

 

• Colleen McGinn

PhD Candidate

Columbia University

 

• Katharine McGregor

Senior Lecturer in Southeast Asian History

University of Melbourne

 

• Shawn McHale

Associate Professor of History, Elliott School of International Affairs

George Washington University

 

• Robert Meeropol

Executive Director

Rosenberg Fund for Children

 

• Gayatri Menon

Department of Sociology

Franklin and Marshall College

 

• Mary Beth Mills

Professor of Anthropology

Colby College

 

• Art Mitchells-Urwin

SOAS Thai Society President

School of Oriental and African Studies,

University of London

 

• Michael Montesano

Visiting Research Fellow

Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore

 

• Rosalind Morris

Professor, Department of Anthropology

Columbia University

 

• Frank Munger

Professor of Law

New York Law School

 

• Melissa Nickols

Honours Candidate

Australian National University

 

• Nguyen-vo Thu-huong

Associate Professor, Asian Languages and Cultures and Asian American

Studies

University of California, Los Angeles

 

• Don Nonini

Professor of Anthropology

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

 

• Rachel Sarah O’Toole

Assistant Professor of History

University of California, Irvine

 

• Piya Pangsapa

Head and Senior Lecturer, Institute for Gender and Development Studies

The University of the West Indies

 

• Raj Patel

Visiting Scholar, Center for African Studies

University of California at Berkeley

 

• Jamie Peck

Canada Research Chair in Urban & Regional Political Economy

University of British Columbia

 

• Maurizio Peleggi

Associate Professor, Department of History
National University of Singapore

 

• Thomas Pepinsky

Assistant Professor, Department of Government

Cornell University

 

• Sheldon Pollock

Ransford Professor of Sanskrit and Indian Studies

Columbia University

 

• Oliver Pye

Lecturer for Southeast Asian Studies

Bonn University

 

• Rahul Rao

Lecturer in Politics

School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

 

• Rajah Rasiah

Khazanah Nasional Chair of Regulatory Studies and Professor of Technology and Innovation Policy, Faculty of Economics and Administration

University of Malaya

 

• Leon Redler

Faculty (since 1970), Former Chair of the Association

Philadelphia Association, London, UK

 

• Anthony Reid

Professor [emeritus]

Australian National University

 

• Craig Reynolds

Professor, School of Culture, History, and Language

Australian National University

 

• Andrea Riemenschnitter

Professor and Chair of Modern Chinese Studies, Director of the

University Research Priority Program “Asia and Europe”

University of Zurich

 

• Jonathan Rigg

Professor, Geography Department

Durham University

 

• Geoffrey B. Robinson

Professor and Vice-Chair, Department of History

University of California, Los Angeles

 

• Garry Rodan

Professor of Politics and International Studies

Murdoch University

 

• John Roosa

Associate Professor, History Department

University of British Columbia

 

• Danilyn Rutherford

President, Society for Cultural Anthropology

Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology

University of California, Santa Cruz

 

• Saskia Sassen

Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology

Co-Chair, Committee on Global Thought

Columbia University

 

• Wolfram Schaffar

Professor for Development Studies, Institute of Development Studies

University of Vienna

 

• Tilman Schiel

Professor, Chair of Insular Southeast Asian Studies

University of Passau

 

• Johannes Dragsbaek Schmidt

Associate Professor

Aalborg University

 

• Sarah Schulman

Distinguished Professor of the Humanities

City University of New York

 

• Raymond Scupin

Director, Center for International and Global Studies and Chair, Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Lindenwood University

 

• Laurie J. Sears

Professor of History and Director, Southeast Asia Center

University of Washington

 

• Mark Selden

Coordinator

The Asia-Pacific Journal

 

• Sarah Sexton

The Corner House, UK

 

• Jeffrey Shane

Southeast Asian Librarian, Curator, David K. Wyatt Thai Collection and

Chair of CORMOSEA

Ohio University

 

• John T. Sidel

Sir Patrick Gillam Professor of International and Comparative Politics

London School of Economics and Political Science

 

• Dan Slater

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

University of Chicago

 

• elin o’Hara slavick

Distinguished Professor of Art

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

 

• Claudio Sopranzetti

PhD Candidate

Harvard University

 

• Chris Sneddon

Associate Professor, Environmental Studies Program and Geography

Department

Dartmouth College

 

• Irene Stengs

Senior Research Fellow, Ethnology Department, Meertens Institute

Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

 

• Carolyn Strange

Senior Fellow, School of History

Australian National University

 

• Donald K. Swearer

Harvard University

 

• David Szanton

Executive Director, Emeritus, International and Area Studies Center

University of California, Berkeley

 

• Eduardo Climaco Tadem

Professor of Asian Studies

University of the Philippines, Diliman

 

• Teresa S. Encarnacion Tadem

Professor of Political Science

University of the Philippines, Diliman

 

• Neferti Tadiar

Professor and Chair, Department of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies

Barnard College

 

• Eric Tagliacozzo

Associate Professor, Department of History

Cornell University

 

• Michelle Tan

Independent Scholar

 

• Nicola Tannenbaum

Professor of Anthropology, Department of Sociology & Anthropology

Lehigh University

 

• Nicholas Tapp

Professor Emeritus, Australian National University

Chair, Department of Sociology, East China Normal University

 

• Ross Tapsell

Lecturer in Asian Studies

Australian National University

 

• Benjamin Tausig

PhD Candidate, Department of Music

New York University

 

• James Taylor

Senior Lecturer

The University of Adelaide

 

• Nora A Taylor

Alsdorf Professor of South and Southeast Asian Art, Department of Art

History, Theory and Criticism

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

 

• Robert Tierney

Lecturer, School of Business

Charles Sturt University

 

• Serhat Uenaldi

Doctoral Candidate

Humboldt-University of Berlin

 

• Giles Ji Ungpakorn

Exiled Thai scholar under lèse majesté charges

 

• Peter Vandergeest

Associate Professor, Department of Geography

York University

 

• Andrew Walker

Senior Fellow, College of Asia and the Pacific

Australian National University

 

• Joel Wainwright

Associate Professor, Department of Geography

Ohio State University

 

• Napisa Waitoolkiat

Lecturer at South East Asian Institute of Global Studies

Payap University

 

• Meredith L. Weiss

Associate Professor of Political Science

University at Albany, SUNY

 

• Marion Werner

Department of Geography

University at Buffalo, SUNY

 

• Cornel West

Class of 1943 University Professor

Center for African American Studies

Princeton University

 

• Frederick F. Wherry

Associate Professor of Sociology

University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)

 

• Jerome Whitington

Research Fellow, Asia Research Institute

National University of Singapore

 

• Ingrid Wijeyewardene

Lecturer

University of New England

 

• Andrew Willford

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Cornell University

 

• Joanna Williams

Professor Emerita, History of Art & South/Southeast Asian Studies

University of California at Berkeley

 

• Ara Wilson

Director, Program in the Study of Sexualities and Associate Professor,

Women’s Studies & Cultural Anthropology

Duke University

 

• Leslie Woodhouse

Lecturer, History

University of San Francisco

 

• Susan L. Woodward

The Graduate Center

City University of New York

 

• Rebecca Zorach

Associate Professor, Art History

University of Chicago

 

 

2 Responses to “Int’l academics petition Thai PM to amend lèse majesté laws, free political prisoners”


  1. […] CourseFHSU Department of Music and Theatre announces February eventsfachcha: forum of Young IndiaInt’l academics petition Thai PM to amend lèse majesté laws, free political prisoners […]


  2. […] Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT), 1 February 2012, “International academics petition Thai PM to amend lèse majesté laws, free political prisoners,” https://facthai.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/intl-academics-petition-thai-pm-to-amend-lese-majeste-laws-f… […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: