Thailand: Well known rghts advocate detained without charge

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Thailand’s Clean Clothes Campaign is shocked and angered by arrest and detention of well-known Thai labour and human rights advocate Somyot Pruksakasemsuk. No charges have been pressed against him and no proper inquiry held – and now his detention has been extended.

Somchat was arrested following the recent political upheaval in Thailand and has been held in military barracks without charged since 24 May 2010. The Clean Clothes Campaign and others are seriously concerned about his health and safety.

The Clean Clothes Campaign is shocked and angered by the the arrest of Somyot Pruksakasemsuk. Somyot is the founder of the Centre for Labour and International Solidarity Thailand (CLIST) and worked with the CCC on numerous campaigns and Urgent Appeals, including the landmark Eden case in the mid-nineties and more recently the MSP case in 2006.

Somyot is a former project coordinator for ICEM (International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mines and General Workers’ Unions) in Thailand. The CCC joins ICEM in calling upon partners and supporters around the world to write to the Thai prime minister and to Thai embassies in your countries to call for his immediate release.

Somyot was arrested together with Associate Professor Suthachai Yimprasert, after they presented themselves to the police when they heard of their arrest warrants. Suthachai was released yesterday following petitions by students and the faculty.

Although they had been following events closely in their capacity as journalists and academics, neither of them are members of the Red Shirt core group.

According to the latest information we received, Somyot is being held at Adisorn Army Base in Saraburi, 115km north of the capital Bangkok and will be detained until at least 6 June. We understand that the Criminal Court agreed with the Centre for Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) on 28 May to extend the detention of Somyot for another seven days, and that in violation of international human rights standards and national judicial law, no charges were pressed against them, and no proper inquiry session has been arranged during his detention.

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We understand that Somyot is held in solitary detention and made to wear military clothing. We are seriously concerned for his health and safety.

Please contact the Thai authorities by going here.

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