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Thai justice minister supports chemical castration of rapists

Greeley Pulitzer

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Thai justice minister supports chemical castration of rapists | The Thaiger
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The Thai Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin has given his support to a law that would require chemical castration for convicted rapists. Democrat MP Rangsima Rodrasmi proposed the law during a discussion in the House of Representatives on sexual violence. The House has created an extraordinary committee on the prevention of sex crimes.

Rangsima suggested sex offenders should be castrated, chemically or surgically, whichever is recommended by health officials. Somsak said if the House approved the measure, they should start drafting legislation immediately, noting that if the public supports the law, it will not be difficult to pass.

The proposal comes shortly after a paroled serial killer, Somkid Pumpuang, allegedly murdered a 51 year old woman in Khon Kaen (police claim he admitted to the murder). Although he’d been sentenced to life in prison for murdering five women before, he was released after just 14 years as a “model prisoner.”

Somsak says legal measures are required to monitor sex offenders, and that the public should be aware of their whereabouts.

“They should be made to stay in restricted areas for three to 10 years by court order,” according to the Bangkok Post

Somsak says he’s ready to push for a law to make this possible. But human rights advocates say chemical castration may not be a valid solution. Chadej Chaowilai, director of the Women’s and Men’s Progressive Movement Foundation, says the root cause of rape is gender inequality.

“The legal definition of rape has been narrowed down from using objects for penetration to using just the penis, which diminishes a woman’s right to protection.”

“If a rapist uses his finger, he’s charged obscenity, not rape. The new legal definition of rape also excludes the LGBTQ community.”

Chadej added that inequality is ingrained in law enforcement.

“Some male police officers refuse to accept complaints from women. They’ll mediate instead, because they believe women are to blame for the way they dress or behave. Also, since there are very few women in the police force, there is a clear gender bias in their handling of such cases.”

Mr Chadej attributed the cause of rape to the prevalence of male chauvinism in society

“Women are seen as submissive housewives and objects of sexual desire. No one respects women’s rights despite harsher punishments for rape.”

Somchai Homlaor, a human-rights lawyer, also voiced opposition on the grounds of human dignity.

“Convicts should be treated according to the law and human rights principles. What if the person castrated has been framed?” he asked the Bangkok Post.

Somchai says the only way to prevent sexual violence is to change public attitudes.

“People must learn to respect others’ rights and avoid gender discrimination. Sexual harassment comes from our patriarchal attitude toward women.”

“Crime results from cumulative behavior and past experiences. If someone has been mistreated physically or sexually, they’re more likely to inflict violence on others.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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School of weed: Ministries preparing course on medical marijuana

Greeley Pulitzer

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School of weed: Ministries preparing course on medical marijuana | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Members of the Public Health and Education ministries display their MoU - Ministry of Public Health

The government wants people to have the facts as the medicinal effects, and possible risks, of ‘ganja’ emerge.

UPDATE: The Cabinet today gave the greenlight for kanchong (cannabis) cultivation to make this type of hemp a cash crop, according to Thai News Agency’s English news.

As earlier reported by The Thaiger, two Thai government agencies have agreed to cooperate to educate the Thai public about the medicinal value, and the potential risks, of marijuana. The Public Health and Education ministries will develop a course of study promoting the medicinal use of cannabis, to be offered by the Office of the Non-Formal and Informal Education (NFE).

Permanent secretary of health Dr Sukhum Kanchanapimai and Rakana Tantawutho, the deputy permanent secretary of education, signed a memorandum of understanding to that effect yesterday.

Thailand is taking cannabis seriously now marijuana is being seen as a potential cash crop which may benefit Thailand’s economy. The legalisation of cannabis for medical use was allowed last year and Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has said he is pushing for the Government to change laws to allow the medical use of marijuana freely.

“The government wants to promote technology that can be applied in medicine, including in the medical use of cannabis and other materials, as a source of income for Thai citizens.”

The course proposed by the permanent secretary of health’s office translates to mean “Studies of cannabis and hemp for informed medicinal uses”.

The aim is to ensure that NFE students and the general public have access to complete and accurate knowledge about existing and potential medicinal uses of cannabis. The Health Ministry has developed innovations for making use of it, and marijuana is now legally cultivated, under strict controls, as a component in both conventional and traditional medicines.

The two ministries will promote the course, which will cover chemical characteristics of the plant, benefits and health risks, legal aspects, and potential uses in mainstream and alternative medicine.

SOURCE: Thailand Today | Forbes

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Opposition will ask NACC to probe Thai PM on three counts

Greeley Pulitzer

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Opposition will ask NACC to probe Thai PM on three counts | The Thaiger
PHOTO - Te Aung THU

Seven of Thailand’s opposition parties are demanding that the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) investigate Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha for allegedly breaching the law on three issues. They claim…

• The Prime Minister failed to state the sources of the Government’s revenue in its policy statement presented to parliament last year.

• The process of selection of senators was illegal due to the presence of members of the post-coup junta on the selection committee.

• The Prime Minister failed to recite the oath of office fully during the swearing-in ceremony, an issue which remains unresolved as the Constitutional Court has not accepted the matter for consideration.

The acting chief opposition whip and Prachachart party secretary-general Thavee Sodsong says the move is unrelated to the upcoming censure debate, where seven cabinet ministers, as well as the PM, are to be challenged.

The opposition will submit the official censure motion to the Lower House tomorrow. The House will set the dates for a no-confidence debate when the Government is ready defend itself against the motion.

Phumtham Vechayachai, advisor to the leader of the opposition, said that the Government should step down if it is shown that the Government cannot solve the nation’s pressing economic problems.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Thailand’s Future Forward party cleared in surprise Court verdict

The Thaiger

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Thailand’s Future Forward party cleared in surprise Court verdict | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thanathorn Jungroongruangkit, delighted at this morning's verdict - Thai PBS World

The Constitutional Court have beaten their own schedule for a verdict by announcing late this morning a decision that cleared the Future Forward Party of charges that it was attempting to undermine “the democratic system under the monarchy”.

The ruling is one of the few that have come out on the side of Government opposition parties in Thailand, and is considered a triumph for the young political party leader Thanathorn Jungroongruangkit, the party’s top executives, FF voters and broader support base.

Future Forward’s supporters gathered at its headquarters this morning, expecting the worst, but then erupted in cheers when the Constitutional Court handed down its verdict.

The court ruled that “all the charges against the party were not enough grounds to prove it acted in a way that would harm the constitutional monarchy”.

Dr. Natthaporn Toprayoon, a lawyer and a former advisor to the ombudsman, had asked the Court to consider dissolving the political party last July, alleging they were involved in the obscure 300 year old “Illuminati” group, and that its executives were openly critical of the Thai monarchy.

The court said that it was the duty of the country’s Election Commission to check and amend any discrepancies in the party’s stated policies and ensure it “conformed with the constitutional requirements”.

It dismissed “as groundless” Natthaporn’s charge that the party was emulating the bizarre secret society known as “Illuminati”. In his original submission, Natthaporn claimed that in reverse the party’s logo bears close resemblance to the Illuminati’s triangle sign.

Thanathorn and other leaders of the party planned to call a press conference later in the afternoon.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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