Fair trial

  • Thailand: Hearings against law academic Worachet proceed in military court
    May 28, 2015

    On 26 May 2015, the Bangkok military court held the first witness hearing in the case where Mr. Worachet Pakeerut, law academic from Thammasat University and member of the Nitirat group, stands accused of twice defying NCPO’s orders to report.

  • Cambodia: Opposition activist questioned over 2014 Freedom Park protest
    May 28, 2015

    On 27 May 2015, Mr. San Kim Heng, one of 11 opposition activists and lawmakers of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, was questioned over his alleged role in a protest near the capital’s Freedom Park that turned violent on 15 July 2014.

  • Malaysia: 6 anti-GST rally participants slapped with arrest warrants for not appearing in court
    May 27, 2015

    On 26 May 2015, six protesters of the anti-GST protest in March had warrants of arrests issued against them by the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court, for failing to turn up at the court. The six are S. Haarthi, 21, Mohd Faizal Mohd Sabri, 32, Afzanizam Hashim, 39, Muhammad Faizzuddin Mohd Zai, 21, Abdul Kudus Halim, 43, and E. Sarawanen, 43. They are charged with failing to disperse when told by the police to do so under Section 21(1)(d) of the Peaceful Assembly Act.

  • Indonesia: Activists injured and verbally abused by police during the protest
    April 29, 2015

    On 27 April 2015, at least one woman activist broke her fingers when police officers tried to snatch away the banner she was holding. A group of human rights activists were holding a peaceful demonstration calling for stop the execution of the Philippines Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso in front of the State Palace in Jakarta. The police also verbally abused and dispersed the groups.

  • Thailand: Activists warned by Thai junta not to “create situations”
    March 16, 2015

    On 13 March 2015, the spokesperson of the military, National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) stated that extra security measures are needed to maintain national security and warned activists not to create situation such as organising rallies. The military also mentioned that standards of the military and civil courts are the same.

  • Cambodia: Court upholds convictions of land activists
    January 26, 2015

    On 26 January 2015, Phnom Penh’s Appeal Court upheld the convictions of 10 female land activists – including seven well-known Boeung Kak lake protesters – and a monk, two and a half months after they were arrested and sentenced to a year in prison within 24 hours of their respective arrests during peaceful protests.Thirty-six NGOs, rights groups and unions later slammed the verdicts as “indefensible”, saying they followed an appeal hearing “that was characterised by an almost total absence of fair trial rights”.

    UPDATE 13 April 2015
    On 11 April 2015, at approximately 3.30pm, 10 Boeung Kak Lake activists, arrested and imprisoned on 10 November 2014, were released by royal pardon. The release of the human rights defenders comes as part of recent political deals between the ruling and opposition party leaders.

  • Cambodia: activist monks denied bail
    January 19, 2015

    On the 9th January 2015, defrocked activist monks Venerable Seung Hai, Venerable Khith Vannak, and Venerable Sang Kosal were denied bail within one hour of arriving at the appeal court. The three were arrested in November 2014 after peacefully protesting on behalf of imprisoned land activists, in a continuation of the increasing crackdown on peaceful protesters throughout the country.

  • Singapore: activist ordered to pay Prime Minister $22,000 in legal costs
    January 13, 2015

    On the 12th January 2015, activist Roy Ngerng was ordered by the Singapore High Court to pay $22,000 in legal costs to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who had won a defamation suit against him. Ngerng is also expected separately to pay thousands more in damages to Lee, who sued the blogger for libel after he accused the Singapore leader of misappropriating state pension funds. It was the first such ruling in the city-state over a purely online article.

    Singapore has consistently ranked high in surveys as one of the world’s least corrupt countries, but rights groups say its leaders have used financially ruinous defamation suits to silence critics and political opponents.

  • Vietnam: court rejects appeal of three jailed bloggers
    December 22, 2014

    On the 12th December 2014, a Vietnamese court rejected the appeals of three jailed bloggers – Bui Thi Minh Hang, Nguyen Van Minh, and Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh – and upheld their prison sentences. The three were originally accused by the government of causing public disorder by creating a “serious obstruction to traffic” while they were on their way to visit a former political prisoner in February. Rights groups have decried the charges against them as ‘phony’ and ‘politically motivated’.

  • China: seven of Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti’s students sentenced to imprisonment on charges of separatism
    December 17, 2014

    On the 10th December 2014, seven of jailed dissident and scholar Ilham Tohti’s students were sentenced to imprisonment ranging between three and eight years on charges of separatism. Mutellip Imin, Atikem Rozi, Perhat Halmurat, Abduqeyum Ablimit, Shohret Nijat, Akbar Imin, and Luo Yuwei were accused of separatism largely for their work on Tohti’s website promoting Uighur rights. Critics have denounced the courts for using the students to further bolster the case against Tohti.