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Thailand’s sex crime laws toughened

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GRAPHICS: Nation Graphics

Thailand is toughening its sex crime laws related to rape in a bid to better curb sexual assault crimes.

For example, sexual attacks against children below the age of 13 will result in life imprisonment under the tougher law, while penalties will double for rapists who share recordings of the assault. The new law also recognises sexual crimes against men and corpses.

The act to amend the Criminal Code’s rape section prescribes harsher punishments against sexual attackers and recognises new forms of the crime. The death penalty can be applied in cases where the victim dies as a result of sexual violence.

Panadda Wongphudee, a former beauty queen-turned-campaigner, is hailing the new law as being more comprehensive and in line with the modern context.

“For instance, it addresses the issue of audio and video recordings of sexual assaults,” she said.

“Under this law, police can no longer push victims to settle the matter out of court.”

Thailand's sex crime laws toughened | News by The Thaiger

Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation has been following reports in 13 newspapers to monitor the frequency of sexual violence. In 2017, 317 cases of sexual crimes were reported. Of the victims, 60.6% were aged between five and 20, while 30.9% were aged between 41 and 60. The oldest victim was 90 years old.

WMP also highlighted the fact that 53% of the rapists were very close to the victims or members of their family. This is also possibly the reason why the newly introduced law seeks to toughen the penalty for sexual crimes committed against relatives.

“Only 38.2% of rapists were complete strangers,” according to WMP, adding that some 8.8% of rapists had met their victims through social media.

Inebriation also played a part in about a third of the sexual crimes reported, according to The Nation story.

Social Equality Promotion Foundation’s director Supensri Puengkhokesoong said she was worried about the enforcement process.

“No matter how good the law is, its effectiveness depends solely on the enforcers,” she said, expressing hope that victims will be given quick access to their legal rights following the crimes.

She said that while the new law in general wields tougher penalties, it also gives the court an option to consider putting offenders below the age of 18, whose victims are between 13 and 15 years old, under welfare protection instead of penalising them.

Thailand's sex crime laws toughened | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Ask The Thais | Road deaths, dating foreigners, and is ‘farang’ racist?

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Ask The Thais | Road deaths, dating foreigners, and is ‘farang’ racist? | The Thaiger

Ask The Thais” is a new segment on The Thaiger where we ask some of our Thai staff to explain some of the unusual and sometimes inexplicable little nuances of Thai culture. You have a question?

Send it in and we’ll get our MUCH BETTER LOOKING Thai staff to explain, from a Thai youth perspective, some of their culture and what they really think. Send us your questions below.

YouTube link to the Australian Transport Accident Commission video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2mf8DtWWd8

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111 people arrested at Koh Pha Ngan party for allegedly violating Covid-19 restrictions

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111 people arrested at Koh Pha Ngan party for allegedly violating Covid-19 restrictions | The Thaiger
PHOTO: PR Surat

Police raided a party in Koh Pha Ngan and arrested 111 on charges of violating Covid-19 disease control measures under the Emergency Decree. Immigration police and tourist police raided the event at Three Sixty Bar, a venue on a hilltop near Mae Haad Beach on the island known for its 360 degree view.

Out of the 111 people arrested, 89 are foreigners and 20 are Thais. Police say 2 other people admitted to organising the party and were charged with colluding in operating an entertainment venue without permission. All 111 people were taken to the police station for legal action.

According to chief of Surat Thani immigration, police heard about party tickets being sold online. The bar wasn’t exactly discrete about hosting an event. Various posts were made on Facebook advertising the “360 Blast & Addict Party” with DJs on 2 dance floors, a music line up until 2am and a “Crazy Market” with clothes, jewelry and food.

Surat Thani Governor also says strict legal action will be taken against the partygoers and breaches of Covid-19 restrictions will not be tolerated.

111 people arrested at Koh Pha Ngan party for allegedly violating Covid-19 restrictions | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | PR Surat

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Thailand News Today | Restrictions on Bangkok and Pattaya to be lifted? | January 27

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Thailand News Today | Restrictions on Bangkok and Pattaya to be lifted? | January 27 | The Thaiger

A trailer truck has driven into an accident scene, crashing into 9 vehicles and critically injuring a police officer who was directing traffic in Surat Thani’s main city district. Luckily rescue workers and another police officer were able to jump out of the way before the truck ploughed through the accident scene and into a roadside tyre shop.

2 people are still being treated for minor injuries. Police officers were directing traffic around the accident scene, but the trailer truck with a load gypsum drove through, crashing into 7 motorcycles and 2 pickup trucks. A police officer directing traffic was rushed to the hospital with serious head injuries. A lottery vendor was also injured and sent to the hospital.

The 26 year old driver says he had a problem with the brakes.

After several consecutive days without a local Covid-19 case, Chon Buri, which includes Pattaya, might soon be removed from the government’s list of “red zones” for high risk of Covid-19. Once lockdown restrictions are eased, the coastal province is expected to have an influx of domestic tourists.

The province has been under strict disease control measures and is classified as one of the 5 coastal province with the highest risk under maximum control to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Local businesses have been lobbying the government to loosen restrictions and allow non-essential businesses to reopen. Massage and spa workers gathered yesterday, calling on the governor to allow their businesses to reopen. The President of the Thai Hotels Association Eastern Chapte also called for restrictions to be lifted, saying most hotels have had to shut down due to the pandemic, and other businesses face serious liquidity problems.

Chon Buri has gone 5 consecutive days without a new Covid-19 transmission.

Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat, may also be removed from the restricted list. The CCSA will meet tomorrow and will look into changing the classifications from red to orange.

18 provinces in Thailand’s north and northeast are being hit by a wave of smoke and air pollution as the burning season kicks in for the country’s agricultural sector.

The next 2 months are the peak of the burning off season for agricultural waste as farmers prepare their land for the next crops and use the fires to aid the harvest of some of their crops, like sugarcane.

The levels of PM 25 micron particulate, a measure of the smoke and haze, has been at “unhealthy” levels in Chiang Rai, Phrae, Sukhothai, Phitsanulok, Tak, Phetchabun, Phayao, Nan, Chiang Mai, Lampang, Khon Kaen, Roi Et, Chaiyaphum, Ubon Ratchathani, Saraburi, Nong Khai, Nakhon Phanom and Nakhon Ratchasima.

The Pollution Control Department are now openly admitting that the major cause of the seasonal smoke around much of Thailand is from open burning by farmers who are preparing their land.

The levels of haze and smog in the affected provinces is categorised as “unhealthy” by the IQair.com website

The firms.modaps website, the NASA satellite fire tracking service, shows the number of fires currently alight around Thailand and the concentrations in the north and north east of the country.

Late night diners rejoice. Your option to eat all that great Thai food around the country looks to be back on the table as the government is considering lifting some of the current restrictions on dining and business operating hours.

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has announced that they’re likely to lift restrictions on dining, currently set at 9pm, by the end of this week.

The Thai Restaurant Association have been lobbying hard for an extension of the opening times for in-restaurant dining times to at least 11pm.

The CCSA will gather on Friday to assess the current Covid-19 situation and decide if the extension is viable at this time. But the Public Health Minister maintained that alcohol will still be prohibited and other precautions like hand-sanitisers at entry points and social distancing will still need to be strictly applied.

Today has seen another day of high numbers of new Covid-19 infections with another 819 cases reported along with 1 new death.

There are now 4,335 active Covid-19 cases but many of the patients remain asymptomatic and are taken to state quarantine for a 14 day stay.

More than 700 of the new 819 cases were detected in tracking and tracing in Samut Sakhon. Most of the cases involve migrants, many who work in the local seafood processing factories.

The CCSA says the high numbers detected in the province were expected and will probably continue as the results come in from the pro-active testing in the province. The CCSA says there is no need for anyone to be alarmed about the large numbers emerging from testing in the area.

A 56 year old Thai man in Samut Sakhon also died in the past 24 hours as a result of his Covid-19 infection.

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