Day Fifteen – Free speech on trial in Thailand
February 18, 2012
Trial judge insists on written submissions, rejects final witness testimony
The final day of the lèse majesté trial of Chiranuch Premchaiporn, webmaster of Thai independent news portal, Prachatai, saw a single defence witness.
Dr. Pirongrong Ramasoota is a founding signer of Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT). She also holds the positions of assistant professor at Thailand’s respected Chulalongkorn University and deputy dean of its Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communications. Ajarn Pirongrong is an recognised expert on mass media regulations.
Rather that hearing her oral testimony, the trial judge insisted on taking the professor’s two written documents into evidence.
The first is Dr. Pirongrong’s study of international standards regarding illegal content, the moderation of Internet conversations and webboard policing. The study was funded by the independent Thai Research Foundation and titled “การกำกับดูแลเนื้อหาอินเทอร์เน็ต” (“Content Regulation on the Internet”. Ajarn Pirongrong explained to the court that the contents of her study deal with international standards for policing illegal content on the Internet.
The second document is a Master’s degree thesis from one of Dr. Pirongrong’s Chula students, Pandit Chumroonwongsakul (บัณฑิต จำรูญวงศ์สกุล). The thesis examines “การกำกับดูแลและแทรกแซงเว็บบอร์ดทางการเมืองหลังเหตุการณ์รัฐประหาร 19 กันยายน 2549” )”Regulation and Interference in Political Webboards after the 19 September 2006 Coup d’etat”. This 2006 case study details measures taken to monitor “inappropriate” comments on the monarchy and offering recommendations for moderation for four webboards one of which is Prachatai.
We hope the court will read these with an open mind to develop a greater understanding of the way the Internet works and why Jiew is NOT GUILTY.
After this final adjournment, Judge Kampot will rule.
VERDICT APRIL 30!
WE LOVE JIEW! WE LOVE PRACHATAI!
“Day One: Thai webmaster facing 50 years for lèse majesté postings” https://facthai.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/day-one-free-speech-on-trial-in-thailand/
“Day Two: Thailand’s chief censor continues in Prachatai trial” https://facthai.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/day-two-free-speech-on-trial-in-thailand/
“Day Three: MICT’s legal advisor testifies: ‘Freedom has its limits’” https://facthai.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/day-three-free-speech-on-trial-in-thailand/
“Day Four: MICT and police lawyers testify” https://facthai.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/day-four-free-speech-on-trial-in-thailand/
“Day Five: Police scientist testifies for prosecution” https://facthai.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/day-five-free-speech-on-trial-in-thailand-postponed/
“Day Six: Two police ‘IT experts’ testify as Prachatai trial resumes” https://facthai.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/day-six-free-speech-on-trial-in-thailand/
“Day Seven: Police lèse majesté “experts” in Prachatai trial” https://facthai.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/day-seven-free-speech-on-trial-in-thailand/
“Day Eight: “I can’t remember.” “จำไม่ได้.” https://facthai.wordpress.com/2011/09/06/day-eight-free-speech-on-trial-in-thailand/
“Day Nine: Royal connection to Prachatai withhunt” https://facthai.wordpress.com/2011/09/10/day-nine-free-speech-on-trial-in-thailand/
“Day Ten: “Prachatai gives voice to democracy.” https://facthai.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/day-ten-free-speech-on-trial-in-thailand/
“Day Eleven: ““Prachatai exists to promote human rights” https://facthai.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/day-eleven-free-speech-on-trial-on-thailand/
“Day Twelve: ‘Judge swamped, justice delayed’” https://facthai.wordpress.com/2011/10/11/day-twelve-free-speech-on-trial-in-thailand/
“Day Thirteen:‘Judge refuses instruction by law expert’” https://facthai.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/day-thirteen-free-speech-on-trial-in-thailand/
“Day Fourteen: ‘Webmaster of Thailand’s largest Web forum tells court moderation is “impossible” due to number of comments’” https://facthai.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/day-fourteen-free-speech-on-trial-in-thailand/