Monday the 27th of May, 2019, I will go visit Siraphop Kornarut, a writer and poet of the people, at the Bangkok Special Prison at 12:00pm. The military court has imprisoned him for 4 years and nine months now. He didn’t get the right to bail. Whoever has the desire to gift money to Siraphop to encourage him that we still having forgotten him, that we don’t don’t abandon each other, and that we join together to help each other, please transfer money in the name of (Somyot Preuksakasamesuk), (Siam Commercial Bank), number 202-255248-3, by phone 065-5575005.
The military court usually has the power to judge specifically military service people, but beginning with the coup of May 22, 2019 onwards, they also tried the cases of civilians, for example cases of opposing the commands of the National Council for Peace and Order [the junta] and cases of lese majesty. This means that the military court becomes the tool for suppressing the people who call for democracy. As the cases in the military court have trial procedures that go on and on, with many postponements in the examination of witnesses, the defendants almost never get bail, even if they ask for it many times.
These days, the number of civilians whose cases are tried in military court reaches to 30. One of those, who didn’t get the right to bail and has been in jail the longest, is Siraphop Kornarun or “Rungsila” a writer and political poet, who used to present his thoughts and opinions on a weboard famous in many places. He has been charged under Article 112 (the lese majesty law) and the Computer Act 14(3) for writing poetry and publishing 3 articles on the webboard. Counting from when he was first put in jail in 2014 until today, the 25th of May, 2019, Siraphop has been imprisoned 4 years and 9 month, and he has requested bail 7 times, but the court doesn’t allow it. And usually, in almost every case that is dragged out, the accused will chose to confess because they can’t endure living in prison for so long. But as for him, he is still steadfast that he will continue fighting the case, even though from the time the case reached the court, only three witnesses for the prosecution have been examined in four and a half years, with two of the three witnesses being civilians. [Witnesses] don’t come to court for all sorts of individual reasons, including that the prosecutor is not able to get in touch with the witness, and this has caused 7 postponements of the examination [of witnesses]. So it seems that civilians are being tried under a military court that imprisons them the longest [of any court] in Thailand.
Siraphop Kornarun has been imprisoned in Bangkok Special Prison, area 6, which has specified that [a prisoner] can be only have 10 visitors. After being imprisoned for so long, one is closed off from business and the building of the family. And so [Siraphop’s] wife has left him for a new husband. There are three children. The first two must quit their studies and go off to work in order to send the third one to do their last year of college someplace.
Not receiving the right to bail, with the military court still keeping him locked up in prison for so long, not only makes it so he can’t easily fight his case, but he can’t receive justice either. This is a form of torture. Almost every person accused of lese majesty therefore must confess although they are innocent. It is a severe violation of human rights, and there is no human rights organization in Thailand that can give their attention to these cases, which makes it so Siraphop Kornarun has been imprisoned for such a very long time.