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#LetsGetRights Thai Youth Pro-Democracy Activism: Following Get’s footsteps in Pursuit of Justice!



What has happened to Get, a Member of the Mokeluang Youth pro-democracy group? 🤔🔍


In his ongoing struggle for democracy, Sophon "Get" Suratitthamrong, a passionate pro-democracy activist and member of the Mokeluang Rimnam group, has been held in custody for over 80 days. He was convicted on charges of "royal defamation" (section #112 of the criminal code) and the unauthorized use of a sound amplifier during the #ทัวร์มูล่าผัว (#TourMooLaPua) Protest in April 2022. Allegedly, he criticized King Rama X and the Queen, by stating that no matter how much merit they made, their Boon-Baramee (refers to the accumulating positive actions or good deeds to attract blessings and positive outcomes in life) would not increase. Also, he condemned the police, categorizing those who prioritized the monarchy institution over the people as adversaries of the people. The collective weight of these charges has resulted in a daunting sentence of 3 years and 6 months, all while efforts to secure bail prove fruitless.


Beyond the legal complexities of the #TourMooLaPua case, Get recently underwent a crucial evidence hearing on November 6, 2023. This session specifically explored his involvement in the #ฝืนฝอยหาตะเข็บ (#RecoverTheFrayAndFindTheSeams) and the #ใครฆ่าพระเจ้าตากสิน (#WhoKilledKingTaksin) event on Chakri Day, April 6, 2022, at Wong Wian Yai. During the hearing, Get purposely took off his shirt, acknowledging the impropriety while boldly challenging the legitimacy of his and fellow democracy activists' detention without bail under the infamous section 112.


Get’s family is fighting back for a true justice ⚖️✊

Fast forward to November 13, 2023, when Get's family, joined by a cohort of activists and concerned individuals, took a decisive step by filing a complaint. This formal grievance asserts that the court's judgment stands in distinct contradiction to established legal norms. Focusing on the Criminal Court's decision regarding the #TourMooLaPua Protest, which involves the unauthorized use of a loudspeaker under Section 4 of the Sound Amplifier Act, the complaint posits a glaring violation of Section 9. The law explicitly prescribes a fine not exceeding 200 baht, yet the court opted for a more punitive route, imposing a 6-month imprisonment.


The essence of the matter lies in the apparent discrepancy between the court's decision and the legal provisions, raising significant concerns about the excessiveness of the sentence. To amplify their call for justice, Get's family submitted a letter of complaint to the President of the Supreme Court and the Prime Minister, Settha Thavisin. The letters were duly acknowledged and well-received by the representatives of both offices.


#LetsGetRights: Get is Standing Firm for his Rights! ⚖️✊

Get's steadfast stance endures as he boldly asserted during an earlier evidence hearing held on September 4, 2023, "Therefore, I would like to 'reject the jurisdiction of the court.' I am not talking about you alone but about the entire justice process. Until the court reinstates the right to bail and ceases the prosecution of all section 112 prisoners. Thank you." 


Get's unwavering position persists as he continues to challenge the peculiar and unjust nature of the system. He advocates for the restoration of bail rights for all political prisoners and the abolition of section 112 - the infamous lèse majesté law. Despite facing an unjust sentence, Get remains firm in his commitment to pursuing systemic justice. Throughout his hearings, he refuses to answer questions or acknowledge the court's jurisdiction, expressing his clear disapproval of the entire justice process.


🎉 Happy Birthday, Get! May your wishes for justice and freedom come true! 🌟🎂

On November 12, 2023, we commemorated Get's birthday. He just turned 25 years old. Though he cannot blow out his candles or partake in the celebrations, we extend our heartfelt wishes to him.


Highlighted by the Mokeluang group, Get, known for his caring nature, gentleness, and strategic mind, has displayed unimaginable resilience in his fight, never yielding or losing hope. Despite being incarcerated, he continues to inspire and uplift others. On this special day, let us join Mokeluang and other activists to advocate for Get's birthday wishes: the release of all political prisoners, including himself, and the abolition of section 112-related prosecutions!


🔍Justice Struggles in Thai Activism: Beyond Get's Case ⚖️

This narrative not only sheds light on the legal complexities of Get's case but also underscores the broader struggle for justice and human rights in political activism, impacting not only Get but also numerous other activists. According to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, as of October 2023, a total of 1,930 individuals have faced prosecution for political-related offenses across 1,253 cases.


Despite possessing a democratic constitution, Thailand, as one of the initial 48 endorsers of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, is bound to recognize fundamental rights such as life, liberty, security, and the right to peaceful assembly and association. Furthermore, Thailand’s ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 1996 solidifies the right to peaceful assembly, equal legal protection, and freedom of expression for all individuals.


Therefore, as a nation that claims to be democratic, Thailand should adhere to the legal safeguards enshrined  in its constitution and international human rights obligations. Political prisoners are entitled to the right to bail and should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Failing to do so unmistakably indicates that the country is not abiding by democratic principles.


This evolving narrative not only underscores the legal intricacies of Get's case but also stands as a distressing reminder of the broader struggle for justice and human rights within the sphere of political activism. It is not just Get; numerous other democracy activists face similar challenges, shedding light on a troubling tendency toward excessive punishment and imprisonment, weaponizing the legal system.


#WeAreManushyan ∞ Equal Human Beings



Our Call to Action!


Manushya Foundation stands in solidarity with Get, a brave member of our #YouthPowerDemocracy network, all pro-democracy activists facing judicial harassment, and everyone fighting for democracy in Thailand and across the world. 

✊ We vehemently condemn the lèse-majesté law, and we call on the Thai government to respect its international human rights obligations regarding the right to freedom of expression and information, laid down in Article 19 of the UDHR and ICCPR. It must also comply with the UPR recommendations on freedom of expression, including the revision of section 112, which it received during its 3rd UPR cycle in 2021. 

✊ We emphasize that the power belongs to the people. The journey is long, the challenges immense, but the pursuit of justice persists undeterred!


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