Do you still keep the rose I gave you?... 

21 May 2019

Amnesty International Thailand

Do you still keep the rose I gave you?... 


A retired government officer, I am interested in political situations and attends political rallies sometimes. 


On Sunday 15 March 2015, I walked to show my solidarity to a political activist whose son had been shot dead during the suppression of the political demonstrations in 2010.  He was walking as a part of the ‘active citizen’ campaign to demand a stoppage of the use of Military Court to try civilians.   


I handed him a rose and a food packet from McDonald’s.   


Isn’t it bizarre that by handing him a rose and a food packet from McDonald’s, I can be charged for committing a crime?   


On 24 October the same year, while waiting for the check of my passport on in Chiang Mai on my trip to Laos, I was arrested as an arrest warrant against me had been issued by the Military Court.  I was accused of violating the Penal Code’s Section 116 (3)* and three NCPO Announcements (no. 7/2557, 37/2557 and 38/2557) which banned political gatherings and the case fell under jurisdiction of the Military Court. 


The following day, I was transferred to Bangkok for an inquiry at the Chanasongkhram Police Station. I denied all charges and was held in custody there one night. Then, I was remanded by the order of the Military Court on 26 October and needed to deposit 150,000 baht as my bail bond.   


On 23 May 2016, one day after the second anniversary of the seizure of civilian power by the NCPO, the Military Court convicted and sentenced me to six months of imprisonment with a fine of 8,000 baht. I was found guilty only for violating the NCPO Announcement no. 7/2557 which prohibited a political gathering of five persons and upward. The sentencing was reduced by a half as the Military Court reasoned that I had never been found to have committed a criminal offence prior to that. Thus, I was supposed to serve three months in jail and get fined for 4,000 baht, though the imprisonment was suspended for one year.   


The gentleness of the gorgeous rose petals can turn into coarseness in the eye of the law enforcement. The desire to show solidarity with a comrade in arms has been imprisoned in the name of “public order” The pains feel so excruciating for many (you, too?).  


Thanks for appreciating such beauty together.   



Amnesty Stands Against Use of Law Against Peaceful Excercise of Freedom 


Amnesty International Thailand opposes use of lawsincluding the Penal Code’s Article 116, to curtail peaceful excercise of right to freedom of expression. 



*The Penal Code’s Section 116 (3) Whoever makes an appearance to the public by words, writings or any other means which is not an act within the purpose of the Constitution or for expressing an honest opinion or criticism in order to raise unrest and disaffection amongst the people in a manner likely to cause disturbance in the country shall be punishable by an imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years.  



Freedom of Expression Documentation Center by iLaw 


Note: The statement above is not the exact quote from a Human Rights Defender. It has been, however, adapted based on facts and news reports as well as documentation by nongovernmental organizations.