(Hong Kong, January 18, 2011) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) will send international and domestic observers to attend the reading of the verdict on January 21 in the appeal case concerning the disappearance and presumed killing of human rights lawyer Somchai Neelaphaijit, its executive director announced today.
“This is an historic case of tremendous importance not only for Thailand but also for the regional human rights movement,” Wong Kai Shing said.
“The AHRC has followed and worked on the case of Somchai since within days that police abducted him from a street in Bangkok in March 2004, and on Friday we will have people in the courtroom from Thailand and abroad to hear the reading of the appeal verdict, as we did throughout the trial of the five accused in the court of first instance,” Wong said.
The Appeal Court verdict will be read at the Criminal Court, Bangkok on Friday, January 21, at 9:30am.
In 2005 and 2006 the Hong Kong-based regional rights group sent observers to the criminal trial of five police charged with offences connected to the lawyer’s forced disappearance. It compiled the trial observation notes into a 144-page dossier, “The disappearance of a person and the defects of a system”. The dossier is available on the Somchai campaign webpage: http://www.humanrights.asia/campaigns/somchai-neelaphaijit
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