Mon, November 29, 2021

in-focus

Where are the smiles on Children's Day?


While the country marked January 9 as Children's Day, 13 teenagers are fighting charges for engaging in political activities, the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights Centre (TLHR) said.

Children’s Day this year was in stark contrast with previous years, as a large number of school children aged under 18 years had participated in political rallies nationwide last year, the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights posted on their Facebook page on Saturday.
School children last year had called for abandoning strict rules imposed on them, such as mandatory short hair and wearing school uniforms. They had also called for upgrading education quality and demanded that teachers respect their human rights, such as freedom of expression. Their rebellion came amid repeated news reports of school teachers punishing students disproportionately, sexual harassment in schools and suppression of student political voices calling for reform in the country.
The lawyers centre found that many teenagers had been intimidated by the authorities and teachers. Some of them were expelled from their own homes by their parents.
The centre revealed that between July 18 last year to January 7 this year, 13 youths faced police actions, and police had formally charged eight of them.
Three leaders of Bad Student group were accused by police of violating the emergency decree after they gave speeches at a political rally on October 15.
Two of them faced lese majeste charges; one of them is just 16 years old.
Thanakorn, 17, faced three charges -- sedition, lese majeste and violating the emergency decree. Another youth aged 17, faced four charges after participating in several rallies, according to the TLHR.
Police also arrested two youths without arrest warrants.
After being arrested, the youths were sent to the Juvenile and Family Court. And they usually face many procedures before they are released on bail. Such practices result in severe human rights violations. Adult suspects are somehow treated better than youths, according to the TLHR.

Published : January 10, 2021

By : The Nation