Saturday, June 23, 2012

Follow-up: Thai land campaign action

Dear friends,

Many thanks to you all for joining in the campaign letter to the Thai Prime Minister in support of the Thai land reform movements.

We can update you with the very welcome and unexpected news that the Supreme Court decided to drop the charges against two members of the community land reform movement, Mr Rangsan Saensongkhaew and Mr Seubsakun Kijnukorn.  This decision overturns the decision of the Court of Appeal which had upheld the original conviction of inciting others to break the law and sentenced the accused to 4 years in prison.

However, the conviction of Mr Praweis Panpa, from the village of Prabaht, Pasang District, Lamphun province on charges of encroachment, was upheld by the Supreme Court.  His sentence was reduced from 6 years to 1 year in prison.

Their case achieved a high profile and the action you participated in helped to draw additional attention to the issues behind the case.

However as indicated earlier, this court case is just one amongst many in Thailand, and the struggles of the Thai farmers, indigenous peoples, slum dwellers and  fisherfolk trying to assert, recover and reclaim their rights to natural resources continue.

The letter that was delivered to the Prime Minister's office and to the Office for the Institution of Community Title office on 31st (attached) in the end has attracted the support of 135 organisations and individuals and is posted on several websites.  You are encouraged to link to our page (see below) or to post the pdf version of the letter on your website. Photos are available, please contact me for these.

We will let you know if there may be any other urgent appeals to extend support and solidarity to the Thai and other land reform movements.

with best
Rebeca
Petition website
http://www.focusweb.org/content/petition-thai-pm-prominent-activists-and-farmer-leaders-facing-imprisonment-their-role

or a shorter form is http://tinyurl.com/6pe89fy 

LRAN/Focus on the Global South

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