Human rights defender
Sirikan works as a human rights lawyer In Thailand. In 2014, Sirikan and her colleagues set up a coalition of human rights lawyers and defenders. The collective was formed immediately after the 2014 coup d’état in Thailand. The collective’s aim has since been to raise awareness about human rights violations resulting from the imposition of martial law and military rule in the country. The collective runs a 24-hour hotline and uses the information gathered to disseminate public awareness and advice for those summoned or arrested. They also provide free litigation and legal assistance for vulnerable people whose rights have been affected by martial law, the military junta’s rules and orders, and who do not have legal representatives. Sirikan provides legal representation in high-profile human rights cases. For example, she has been representing a group of students who were arrested after carrying out peaceful protests calling for democracy and an end to military rule. Since 2009, she has been working to promote and protect human rights in Thailand at various organizations.
Human rights violations in Thailand
The coup d’état of 2014 plunged Thailand into a spiral of human rights abuses. Freedom of expression is severely restricted and peaceful public gatherings have been banned, leading to hundreds of arbitrary arrests. Military courts are repeatedly used to try civilians, particularly political dissidents.
Threats and harassment
Sirikan has been charged with four criminal offences which relate to her organization’s representation of 14 student activists peacefully protesting. If convicted, she could face up to fifteen years’ imprisonment. International organizations such as the International Commission of Jurists and Amnesty International have highlighted her case and prompted the Thai authorities to drop all charges against Sirikan.