On 4 July 2011, the Criminal Court sentenced Sathian to 6 years in jail for lese majeste and fined him 100,000 baht. This was for selling CDs that contained material allegedly offensive to the monarchy. As is often the case – and is the deal cut – for pleading guilty, these penalties were halved.
Sathian was reportedly “arrested on 19 March 2011 near the Democracy Monument for unauthorized sales of video CDs and publicizing the contents which were offensive to the monarchy.”
Sathian was a hotel cook who had joined red shirt rallies from 2009. His arrest was made during a red shirt rally to commemorate the Army crackdown in May 2010.
This is not the only case that targeted sales of CDs. Akechai Hongkangwarn was arrested by police on 11 March 2011, and charged with lese majeste for being in possession of 100 illegal VCDs, a CD writer and 10 Wikileaks documents. He was arrested following a rally by the Red Siam group.
After sentencing, he applied for a royal pardon, but his petition “did not succeed.”
Sathian was released from prison on 2 February 2013 after serving one year and 11 months.
Media reports on Sathian’s case:
Prachatai, 5 February 2013: “Lèse majesté CD seller released“
Prachatai, 6 March 2012: “Surachai will ask PM to seek royal pardon for political prisoners“
Prachatai, 10 July 2011: “CD seller gets 3 years in jail for lèse majesté“