Satish turns to NHRC for help

national February 08, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Seeks aid to fight deportation order; immigration police warn that others may also be expelled if they join protests

India-Thai Business Forum chairman Satish Sehgal called on the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) yesterday to help him fight an order for him to be deported. 
Chumsilp Sotthipredawong, Satish’s representative, handed an appeal to NHRC member Niran Pitakwatchara seeking help with the deportation order issued by the government’s Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order. 
Chaiyuth Charnarong, a representative of People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) co-leader Thaworn Senneam, accompanied Chumsilp.
Chumsilp said she wanted the NHRC to protect the Indian businessman’s rights because even though he has yet to be formally served the deportation order, several police had harassed him already by turning up at his home. 
Satish had joined the campaign within the legal framework and had not violated any laws, so the deportation order was too harsh, she said. 
Niran promised that the NHRC would take the complaint for urgent consideration and would write to CMPO director Chalerm Yoobamrung, who is also labour minister, to seek an explanation.
Meanwhile, Department of Special Investigation chief Tarit Pengdith reiterated yesterday that the CMPO had the authority to order Satish to be deported. 
He said that as a foreign passport holder, he had no business taking part in actions that affect national security. 
“Yet Satish joined the PDRC movement and became a leader. He went on stage and incited people to violate the law.” 
Tarit alleged that Satish had led protesters to besiege several government offices and even surrounded the Civil Aviation Department after the state of emergency was announced. 
Awaiting approval
Lt-General Paradorn Pattanatabut, secretary-general of the National Security Council, said yesterday that Satish would be deported once the Interior Ministry approves the order, which is expected today. 
“But in reality, it would be difficult to deport him because he has been hiding at PDRC rally sites,” Paradorn said. 
He added that the deportation order could not be appealed with the Central Administrative Court because it had been issued under the emergency decree. 
Separately, Tarit said the CMPO had also decided to ban the 19 PDRC leaders facing arrest and 39 others in the movement who the CMPO is seeking warrants to arrest, from travelling overseas. 
Tarit said the CMPO had instructed the Immigration Bureau to arrest and detain any of the 58 PDRC leaders if they try to leave the country.
Police chief Pol General Adul Saengsingkaew said he had put his assistant Lt-General Winai Thongsong in charge of arresting the PDRC leaders.
Meanwhile, Immigration Police issued another warning to foreign citizens against participating in the anti-government protests, saying this could lead to them also being deported.
The warning comes in the wake of reports that Satish, the Indian businessman, will be deported for his involvement in the rallies and speech on the protest stage.
In an initial warning in December, the Immigration Bureau said foreigners should not participate in the protests because it illegal and dangerous. People who violated this could be deported, it said.
Immigration police in the Northeast border province of Nong Khai put up a sign saying that if any foreigners were found to be involved in the protests, their permission to stay in Thailand could be suspended. 

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