Regarding witness summons order on Mr. Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, Mr. Klaikong Waithayakarn, and Ms. Jaruwan Saranket in the case The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) with Col. Burin Thongpraphai acting in the capacity of attorney as the accuser versus the administrator of Facebook Page “อนาคตใหม่ – The Future We Want” and company, dated 16 July 2018, and the case The National Council for Peace and Order with Col. Burin Thongpraphai acting in the capacity of attorney as the accuser versus the administrator of Facebook Page “Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit – ธนาธร จึงรุ่งเรืองกิจ” and company, dated 16 July 2018, to testify at 3rd sub-division of the Technological Crime Suppression Division on 23 July 2018 at 10.00, afterward the attorney acting on behalf of Mr. Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, Mr. Klaikong Waithayakarn, and Ms. Jaruwan Saranket (hereafter Mr. Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and company) met inquiry official, in respect to the summons order, and requested deferment of the inquiry to 31 July 2018 at 11.00. The inquiry official granted the deferment.
On 31 July 2018 at 10.00 Mr. Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and company met the inquiry official and acknowledged the accusations against them in which Col.Burin Thongpraphai, acting in the capacity of the attorney of the National Council for Peace and Order, has accused them guilty regarding Paragraph 1 (2) of Article 14 in the Computer Related Crime Act B.E. 2550 (2007) and the amendment of the Computer-Related Crime Act B.E. 2560 (2017) with the content in the video record of Facebook live broadcast in the evening of 29 June 2018 on pages “อนาคตใหม่ – The Future We Want” and “Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit – ธนาธร จึงรุ่งเรืองกิจ”. Respectively, Mr. Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and company had given testimony and declined to give any further evidence. The inquiry official did not file charges against them.
On the same day Col. Burin Thongprahpai gave an interview to Thaipost, in which says “In this case, Mr. Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit has mentioned NCPO, so, it is obstruction of justice, falsifying the NCPO. Moreover, it is an assault to the judiciary.”
Future Forward Group would like to give some remarks.
NCPO is an organisation originated from the 22 May 2014 Coup d’état which has denied popular sovereignty and annulled the 2007 Constitution of Thailand. Therefore it is illegitimate by rule of law and democratic standard. Since NCPO assumed the power, abuse of power, in forms of suppression of dissidents and intimidation, has been prevalent. It has caused much distress and badly affected the country’s reputation, Despite the promise of general elections, suppression, intimidation, and restrictions on civil liberty have persisted. The situations only reflect dishonesty of the promise for free and fair democratic elections.
The essence of democracy is popular sovereignty. The Constitution of Thailand enshrines freedom of expression, hence NCPO, as a governmental body, is obliged to respect and abide by this principle. Therefore, pressing charges against Mr. Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and company is a form of intimidation and violates rights and liberties enshrined in the constitution.
After all, Mr. Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and company’s actions are the honest expression of opinions and, regarding the constitution, the rightful exercise of liberty. The persecution from NCPO, nevertheless, has not affected our political stance which advocates liberal democracy and opposes any form of dictatorship.
Moreover, the by-products of the coup, including announcements, orders, legislation under NCPO, and politically motivated charges against dissidents must be annulled in order to restore the rule of law and democratic judiciary. Restoration of the rule of law is on of our pivotal policies, which is to be realised through a legal and legitimate means.