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Thailand: Update - Trial of human rights defender Chiranuch Premchaiporn to resume on 1 September
The trial of human rights defender Ms Chiranuch Premchaiporn will resume on 1 September 2011, at the Ratchadapisek Criminal Court. Witnesses for the Public Prosecutor are due in court on 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 20, 21 September, while witnesses for the defence are to heard on 11, 12, 13, 14 October.
In March 2010, Chiranuch Premchaiporn was charged with violating Section 15 of the Computer Crime Act. The charges are allegedly linked to ten comments that criticised the monarchy, which appeared on the now defunct Prachatai web board. Although the comments were made by members of the public, the public prosecutor alleged that as the moderator of the web board, Chiranuch Premchaiporn was responsible for the content. Chiranuch Premchaiporn fully complied with the authorities by having those comments removed after she was informed to do so by the authorities.
If found guilty, Chiranuch Premchaiporn could face up to 20 years in prison or a fine of 1,000,000 Thai Baht (€23,000).
Chiranauch Premchaiporn is the Executive Director of Prachatai, a non-profit online news website which which publishes articles on politics, the people's movement, and human rights in Thailand and South-east Asia. In May 2011, Chiranauch Premchaiporn received the Courage in Journalism Award presented by the International Women's Media Foundation.
Please see the Original Urgent Appeal issued on 5 November 2010