• Manushya Foundation

Nittaya’s Supreme Court’s verdict - Nittaya is walking free but the court still rules her guilty!



As we had reported last Wednesday, Thailand Supreme Court has found Nittaya guilty with a suspended jail term sentence of 3 years and she was put on probation, with a 20,000 THB fine. Nittaya is free, she doesn’t have to go to jail; ! BUT despite the good news, the Supreme Court still ruled her guilty of encroaching forest land under the Forestry Act, National Park Act and National Reserved Forests Act as determined by the Court of First Instance in 2018 and the Appeals Court in 2019. The Supreme Court refused to apply the NCPO order 66/2014 to Nittaya's case stating it is only an administrative order and not a legal provision protecting poor villagers from being evicted from their land.


This harsh verdict means that Nittaya will still have to be evicted from her land. She will lose her home, her main source of income, and her livelihood, without any corresponding relocation and without any compensation measures! The verdict is basically putting her further in a situation of POVERTY!


The verdict doesn't only affect Nittaya but the rest of the 13 Sab Wai villagers whose Supreme Court verdicts are coming up, and they will most likely also be found guilty, with a suspended jail term, will be fined, like Nittaya, and put on probation. The most worrying is that all of them will still lose almost everything; home, land, money, job - without relocation and compensation! Not to mention that in Thailand, there are over 20,000 cases similar to the Sab Wai villagers’ cases. They are mostly poor villagers, who would be affected by this verdict, who would be found guilty, and who would lose everything!


It is clear that the Forest Reclamation Policy is being weaponized by the Thai authorities to severely enforce forest conservation laws on indigenous peoples and poor villagers instead of targeting big businesses and investors, the real culprits who are destroying the forest! This severe enforcement of Thailand’s false climate solution is basically making the poor even poorer!


Since the Supreme Court's verdict is final, what we can do now for Nittaya (and the 13 Sab Wai villagers) is seeking reparation and compensation for them as they have been unfairly jailed, and for their loss of livelihoods as they will be losing everything! We will continue our fight for justice through international litigation as the Thai justice system has failed Nittaya and the Sab Wai villagers! It’s not over!


**HOW CAN YOU HELP?**

  • Share their stories with everyone around you! Please spread the information around as much as possible. Your support has already helped Nittaya from not being jailed.

  • Consider making a donation to Nittaya and the Sab Wai villagers, as they will lose everything and the Thai government is not giving them anything in return for taking back their land! Learn more here



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Founded in 2017, Manushya Foundation serves as a bridge to engage, mobilise, and empower agents of change by: connecting humans through inclusive coalition building and; by developing strategies focused at placing local communities’ voices in the centre of human rights advocacy and domestic implementation of international human rights obligations and standards.

 

Manushya Foundation strengthens the solidarity and capacity of communities and grassroots to ensure they can constructively raise their own concerns and provide solutions in order to improve their livelihoods and the human rights situation on the ground.

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