We, the undersigned organizations, call on the Thai authorities to immediately drop all charges against academics and participants who attended a recent conference in Chiang Mai, and to uphold academic freedom in line with Thailand’s human rights obligations.
The following open letter has been issued and signed by scholars, academics, and civil society members from across the world in support of the five academics and researchers who have been summoned by the military following the International Conference of Thai Studies (ICTS13), and to object to attempts by the state to control spaces of learning.
We the undersigned express our alarm and dismay at the Summons issued by Col Suebsakul Buarawong, deputy commander of the 33rd Military Circle in Chiang Mai, to Dr Chayan Vaddhanaphuti, Pakawadee Veerapatpong, Chaipong Samnieng, Nontawat Machai, and Thiramon Bua-ngam. They are accused of violating the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) chief's Order No.3/2015, Thailand’s military regime's ban on political gatherings of five or more persons. Conviction on the charges issued against these five scholars carries a potential six months in prison.
Declaration of the “The Community of International Academics”
13th International Conference on Thai Studies
and Scholars on Thai Studies
“Return the Space of Knowledge, Rights, and Civil Liberties to Thai Society”