“December 5th, Abolish 112” for the 61st Anniversary of Thailand’s National Day on December 5th, 2021
On the 61st anniversary of Thailand's National Day, December 5th, 2021, Thai Rights Now members will be hosting a "DECEMBER 5th, ABOLISH 112" rally to raise awareness about human rights violations, focusing on the right to freedom of speech, in Thailand. The rally will educate the general public about the harsh punishment and the abuse of Thailand's Lèse-majesté or Section 112 of the Thai Criminal Code, hence, the importance of the abolishment of Thailand's Lèse-majesté. The rally will be held in major cities across the world on December 5th, 2021, as listed below:
- Boston, MA, USA: Bhumibol Square, 12:00 PM EST
- Copenhagen, Denmark: Rådhuspladsen, 11:00 AM CET
- Edinburgh, Scotland, UK: The Meadows, 11:00 AM GMT
- Helsinki, Finland: Senate Square, 1:00 PM EET
- Oslo, Norway: Vinderen, 12:00 PM CET
- Sydney, Australia: Sydney Town Hall, 5:30 PM AEDT
- Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Markthal, 3:00 PM CET
- Vancouver, BC, Canada: the Royal Thai Consulate-General, 12:00 PM PST (December 4th)
During the Siamese revolution of 1932, Thailand (Siam) officially transitioned from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy on June 24th, 1932. Therefore, June 24th was declared Thailand's National Day. However, in 1960, Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat, who gained power by leading a coup four years prior, moved Thailand's National Day to December 5th, Bhumibol's birthday anniversary. At the same time, Field Marshal Thanarat began enforcing Section 112 of the Thai Criminal Code, or Lèse-majesté, to discourage criticism of the monarchy and eliminate political dissidents. Moreover, after the Thammasat Massacre on October 6th, 1976, the maximum imprisonment for Lèse-majesté was increased to 15 years. Even though there has always been a case of Lèse-majesté, the number of Lèse-majesté cases has sharply increased during the past 2 years due to the pro-democracy protest calling for a reform of the monarchy.
The abuse of Lèse-majesté (Section 112 of the Thai Criminal Code) has prompted at least 14 different countries to call for a reform of Section 112 at the Universal Periodic Review at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.
This rally will send a message to both the Thai and international communities about the human rights crisis in Thailand, focusing on the exploitation of Section 112 of the Thai Criminal Code (Lèse-majesté). During the rally, the participants will come together to urge the public to recognize the problem in Thailand. There will be flyers, handouts, signs, and posters to provide more information about the issue.
Moreover, Dr. Pavin Chachavalpongpun---an associate professor at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University---will be attending the rally in Boston, MA, USA.
Everyone is encouraged to join the rally to demand the abolishment of Section 112 of the Thai Criminal Code or Thailand's Lèse-majesté. To participate, please go to one of the locations during the time listed above.