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25 Jul 2017

Fortify Rights (Thailand)

Thailand: Environmental defenders sued by state & co.; villagers face up to ten years in prison for opposition to mining

"Thailand: Drop Charges, Protect Environmental Defenders", 24 Jul 2017

Thailand authorities should drop all criminal charges against seven environmental defenders facing more than five years in prison for engaging in peaceful protests in Loei Province, Fortify Rights said... The Loei Provincial Court will decide [on] July 25, whether a case against...women involved in...a protest...in November 2016 will go to trial. The same court will also issue a verdict...against 22 environmental defenders involved in blocking a local road during a peaceful protest against the mine in Loei in 2013. The 22 defendants...face up to 10 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine... [In] November...2016, more than 200 residents from Na Nong Bong village marched to the...Administrative Council Office in Loei Province, where the Council planned...to decide whether the...Tungkum Limited...company would be granted permission...for mining operations. The residents staged a peaceful sit-in at the meeting space to voice their opposition... Thai police...charged...seven women,...members of Khon Rak Ban Kerd Group (KRBKG)—[an] environmental rights group—with allegedly violating... the Thai Criminal Code [and]...the 2015 Public Assembly Act... KRBKG has consistently advocated for the mine's permanent closure and rehabilitation of the local environment. In addition to the current charges brought by the state, Tungkum Ltd. has brought 19 criminal and civil complaints initiated against villagers...