She was originally charged on 24 April 2009, in the northeastern province of Nakorn Ratchasima.
Papatchanan is a red shirt and leader of a group that staged a protest against Privy Council President General Prem Tinsulanond, PAD and the government by burning a mock coffin at the Tao Suranari statue, reported to police after arrest warrant had been issued for her by the provincial court.
She and her friends were charged with lese majeste following their 7 April demonstration where the coffin reportedly included an attached message referring to Prem by a royal prefix meant to mock Prem and PAD leader Sondhi Limthongkul. The coffin also carried images of Prem and Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Police said that charges had been filed by a military officer, Col Weerapattarapol Bunchiaw, attached to Army Region 2 and by PAD members, claiming “lèse majesté, violations of national security under Criminal Code Articles 113, 114 and 115, and defamation under Article 326.” Papatchanan has denied the charges and was released on bail. Papatchanan, also known as Daeng, has previously accused others of lese majeste.
No charges have been laid against Papatchanan’s friends, who were not identified by the police and had not been located by the time she was convicted.
The Nakhon Ratchasima Provincial Court has sentenced Papatchanan to three years in jail. According to Prachatai (17 December 2010): “According to the court, during a protest on 7 April 2009, Papatchanan and other red shirts brought a mock coffin with a message which read ‘Phra Ong Than’ in the top line, and ‘Gen Prem…’ and ‘Died 8 April 2009’ in the following lines. Papatchanan poured gasoline on the coffin and burned it. The court said that the word ‘Phra Ong Than’ referred to HM the King who is most revered by the people. The defendant, therefore, was found guilty under Sections 83 and 112 of the Criminal Code for conspiring with others to commit the crime of lèse majesté.”
Police have still not been able to find or arrest any of the other red shirts allegedly involved in the protest.
Her crime appears to have involved referring to General Prem by the same royal prefix in a way that mocked “what was believed to be PAD leader Sondhi Limthongkul’s slip of the tongue when he routinely appeared on his ASTV programme on 3 Apr 2009, saying, ‘…the yellow shirts come out to protect Gen Prem, as Phra Ong Than is President of the Privy Council’.” See this clip:
News about Papatchanan’s case:
Prachatai, 17 December 2010: “Red shirt in Korat gets three years for lèse majesté”
Prachatai, 26 April 2009: “Red-shirts in Khorat charged with lèse majesté for burning coffin in protest against Prem”)
Korat Post, 26 April 2009 has the headline and photos (after 26 April, look at archived headlines).