AND THEN WHEN HER CLAIM WAS VINDICATED THAI AUTHORITIES BANGED HER UP AGAIN AS AN UNDESIRABLE
A French woman was jailed for a year in Thailand after going public when she was raped by her Thai boyfriend.
She was jailed in the northern capital of Chiang Mai under Thailand’s Computer Crime Act Libel laws pending trial but charges were dropped after friends provided evidence she had on her mobile phone. But Immigration authorities, operating under skewed revised laws introduced by the military, banged her up again, this time in the notorious Immigration Jail in Suan Phlu, Bangkok, because she had not renewed her visa while in jail. Friends of the woman, known as Marjorie, have so far raised US$10,000 out of US$30,000 needed to fight against her deportation and to fly her mother over from France to be her companion during the ordeal. The following is a statement from her friends. It can also be found in English and French at this link you wish to support the appeal. Her ordeal has been published here and here.
"We are a group of expatriates living in Thailand.Last year, our friend Marjorie -- a French expat -- filed charges against her then-boyfriend after being violently raped by him.
"Unfortunately, due to Thailand's defamation laws, Marjorie was arrested after speaking out about her ordeal online. After spending a year in jail, Marjorie was finally released last week. Her legal troubles, however, did not stop there.Because she had been incarcerated for months, she had been unable to renew his visa and was now considered by the authorities as having overstayed.
Upon release from jail, she was then immediately sent to the Immigration Detention Center in Bangkok where she still is at this time.
Since, under the new immigration rules, agreeing to be deported would mean a three-year ban from entering Thailand, Marjorie decided to fight her case in court. Having lived here for over five years, she has more ties -- financial, relationships -- with Thailand than she does with France.
As her friends, our goal is to help her fight this legal battle and bring her moral support.At this moment, Marjorie is sharing a cell with over 60 other inmates. The cell is stifling hot, with only a few fans there to fight the tropical heat and humidity. She is only allowed 2 bowls of rice per day and has to remain in the cell at all times. Only yesterday, she witnessed the death of another inmate in that same cell.Our goal, as Marjorie's closest friends, is to bring her moral and legal support. Unfortunately, those do cost money, especially in Thailand, where "hidden legal fees" are often required. While we cannot explicitly state the nature of those fees, anyone familiar with the Thai judicial system knows what those fees are.These are the things we need at this point:Funds to hire competent Thai lawyers to fight the immigration case in court.
Funds to bring Marjorie's only living family member -- her mother -- to Thailand to provide her with emotional support.Funds for "fees" required by the legal system (see above)All in all, all of those items amount to over $30,000.We already came up with $10,000 out of our own pocket, but we need your help and support to reach our goal."
There are facts missing from this story and questions I have. But three major issues are already known.
(1) Thailand's Computer crime laws are the first resort of crooks. They know if they lay charges the defendant will have to pay bail to stay out of prison and could face years in the courts - and if they are acquitted they do not even get costs. They then have to take expensive court action to get their money back. The chances are by this stage most will have no money left.
(2) Under Thailand's revised immigration laws anyone who overstays a visa is subject to deportation and a three year ban. The Immigration authorities no longer ask why? People in jail previously automatically had their visa carried over - and if they were not guilty they could renew it.
Immigration police in school
(3) Not many foreign woman report rape. Why? They would subject themselves in Thailand to an ordeal of mammoth intensity. Despite repeated seminars held by foreign governments instructing Thai police in how to deal with sex crimes, very little of this has rubbed off. Male officers are still used to interrogate female victims, and there even appear to be queues of them. Thai police as a rule believe that foreign women are up for it - and a case like this where the rapist is a boyfriend would not see the light of day - and hasn't.