Public Statement by Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR)
The case of Mr. Yongyuth Boondee
A probably case of arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance
The Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) has been monitoring the case of Mr. Yongyuth Boondee, aka “Daeng Chin Jung”, as a suspect wanted by warrants issued by the Nonthaburi Provincial Court for premeditated murder, damage of property with the use of explosives, illegal possession of firearms, weapons and explosives. The suspect was brought to a press conference at the Provincial Police Region 1 on 1 August 2014. During the press conference, the officials stated that Mr. Yongyuth Boondee has been involved with firing M79 grenades into the demonstration sites of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) and others, altogether 11 times.
After the press conference, his relatives were not able to apply for bail and have not been informed of what happened to Mr. Yongyuth Boondee ever since. TLHR has made attempts to contact concerned agencies including senior inquiry officials involved with organizing the press conference, inquiry officials in charge of the case and prison officials, all of whom have denied any knowledge that any person with the name ‘Yongyuth Boondee’ being detained by any officials. Nevertheless, on 8 August 2014, TLHR approached the Provincial Police Region 1’s officials again and they continued to deny any knowledge of the whereabouts of Mr. Yongyuth Boondee. We were simply informed that he has been bailed out, with no further detail given to us. Meanwhile, military officials were asked to meet with us and showed us a document in which Mr. Yongyuth Boondee states his intention to voluntarily stay in the military custody.
TLHR feels gravely concerned about circumstances regarding the bail applied by someone else, but the relatives of Mr. Yongyuth Boondee and how he has been held in custody incommunicado. Such treatment may subject him to harm inflicted on his life, body, rights and freedom. According to Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time. The holding in custody of Mr. Yongyuth Boondee is likely to become an arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance, which are a serious breach against human rights standards.
Therefore, TLHR urges officials concerned with the arrest, detention and holding the press conference declaring their intention to press charges against Mr. Yongyuth Boondee to immediately disclose his whereabouts and ensure that he has access to his relatives and his lawyer and that his right to justice process is guaranteed along with necessary protection to ensure safety and welfare of Mr. Yongyuth Boondee. As of now, Mr. Yongyuth Boondee is simply a suspect, and neither any charges have been officially pressed against him, nor any final verdict made to prove his guilt.
With respect for people’s rights and liberties
Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR)