Chotisak Onsoong and one other

THAILAND ROYAL ANTHEMChotisak Onsoong, a young political activist, and his friend were accused by police in April 2008 of insulting the monarchy for refusing to stand during the royal anthem that precedes all movie screenings in Thailand.

The U.S. State Department’s annual human rights report for 2008 mentions this case: “On April 5, police charged social activists Chotisak Ongsoong and Songkran Pongbunjan with lese majeste for not standing for the royal anthem in a movie theater in September 2007. They were released without bail; the case was under investigation at year’s end. On April 29 and 30, radio station Metro Life 97 urged listeners to attack Chotisak when he was scheduled to appear at a panel discussion on lese majeste at Thammasat University. The Web site component of the station also posted his personal information, including his address and telephone number.”

On 14 March 2009, then Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, in a talk he gave at Oxford University, in response to a question from lese majeste exile Giles Ungpakorn, clearly stated: “… I have been told that you made specific allegations against the monarchy. If not, of course the charges would be dropped. Just as the case of Chotisak that you mentioned has already been dropped. So you have to be specific on the fact to get the detail so that you don’t create misunderstanding.” However, Chotisak has stated that the charges have not been dropped (see Prachatai, 17 March 2009: “โชติศักดิ์เผยคดีไม่ยืนฯ อยู่ชั้นอัยการ ยังไม่ยุติอย่างที่นายกฯ บอก”). In June 2009, Chotisak’s case remained under investigation. It can only be concluded that Abhisit deliberately misled for political gain.

The case was delayed by the prosecutor several times before Chotisak and friend were called to appear to hear the pending charges. They fled Thailand.

On 20 July 2012, it was reported that the public prosecutor,while decrying the act of not standing “decided to drop a lèse majesté case against Chotisak and his friend who did not stand up for the royal anthem in a Bangkok cinema in 2007.”

The pair returned to Thailand.

News on Chotisak’s and Songkran’s case:

Prachatai, 29 July 2012: “Prosecutor drops case against couple not standing for royal anthem in cinema

Chotisak is profiled (along with others) in the Al Jazeera report program People & Power, 14 February 2009: “Thai law”. Also find it at AOL and YouTube.

AFP/NY Times, 24 April 2008, “Moviegoer Faces Prison for Sitting During Anthem”

Prachatai, 9 April 2008, “Thai couple faces lèse majesté charges for not standing for royal anthem in cinema”

21 responses

17 03 2009
New: Abhisit on Chotisak and creating misunderstanding « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[...] is creating misunderstanding? Chotisak Onsoong, profiled here by PPT, has stated that the charges have not been dropped (see Prachatai, 17 March 2009: [...]

26 03 2009
New: Human rights not improving in Thailand « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[...] and government’s actions are at variance. Most notably, Abhisit has claimed that Chotisak Oonsoong’s case has been dropped and there has been no response to the well-documented response from Chotisak that [...]

28 07 2009
New: Labor rights « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[...] excuse for this dismissal was that Jitra wore a campaign T-shirt supporting Chotisak Onsoong who refused to stand up during the royal anthem in a cinema. The campaign T-shirt read: “Not [...]

22 10 2009
Abhisit at Oxford, Specific Allegations UPDATE « Asian Correspondent

[...] allegations and if there were no specific allegations the charges were dropped, like they were with Chotisak – first that BP has heard of the charges being dropped.Abhisit's then continues:Abhisit then [...]

22 10 2009
Election mode? « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[...] Abhisit’s word or promise might have to be considered suspect given his previous failures such as commitments made regarding lese majeste cases. [...]

28 10 2009
Updates on Jitra Kotchadej and on the red shirt petition « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[...] of lese majeste accusations and action by her employer in 2008. A union activist and friend of Chotisak Onsoong, Jitra was fired by bosses at her clothing factory in August for appearing on a TV panel discussion [...]

4 12 2009
New: BBC, Handley, lese majeste and fear « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[...] before every film.” But he contradicts this immediatley, citing the case of the also charged Chotisak Onsoong who for “the past five years has not stood for the king’s [...]

13 04 2010
Monarchy assessed by Australian television « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[...] 50 years in prison for running a veiled criticism of the king on her website; and another man [Chotisak Onsoong] who faces prison for not standing as the national anthem played in a cinema.” Actually, as [...]

15 04 2010
Updated: Foreign Correspondent on the monarchy « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[...] show included useful interviews with  Chiranuch Premchaiporn and Chotisak Onsoong. And it was especially good to see The Nation’s Thanong Khanthong exposes as a dissembler for [...]

25 09 2010
With two updates: Chiranuch Premchaiporn detained « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[...] 2008 for readers’ comments posted on both websites about the case of Chotisak Onsung [also see here] who refused to stand up for the royal anthem in a cinema and faced police [...]

28 09 2010
An update on Chiranuch’s case « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[...] September 2007, Chotisak Onsoong went to watch a movie and refused to stand up for the Royal Anthem played in the beginning. This [...]

29 09 2010
Left to chance » Thai Webmaster Arrested for Online Speech

[...] crime? In 2008, Prachatai published an interview with Chotisak Onsoong, a Thai man known for refusing to stand at attention during the Thai Royal Anthem — a [...]

6 10 2010
Thai Webmaster Arrested for Online Speech | Electronic Frontier Foundation

[...] crime? In 2008, Prachatai published an interview with Chotisak Onsoong, a Thai man known for refusing to stand at attention during the Thai Royal Anthem — a [...]

8 04 2011
Fallout from Chulabhorn’s “Woody” interview | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[...] about the playing of the royal anthem in movie theaters, which is a political issue because it has resulted in lese majeste allegations. Chulabhorn thinks there needs to be more! She wants increased attention to her dad’s [...]

14 10 2011
Thai Webmaster Arrested for Online Speech | eddan.com

[...] crime? In 2008, Prachatai published an interview with Chotisak Onsoong, a Thai man known for refusing to stand at attention during the Thai Royal Anthem — a [...]

21 04 2012
Thailand Awaits Pivotal Verdict on Liability for Internet Intermediaries | ChrisInMaryville's Blog

[...] published on Prachatai’s online forum in 2008 sparked by an interview with political activist Chotisak Onsoong. By the time she was detained at the airport, Jiew had already shut down the Prachatai forum to [...]

5 05 2012
Journalists everywhere waiting for Chiranuch’s verdict-EFF « FACT – Freedom Against Censorship Thailand

[...] published on Prachatai’s online forum in 2008 sparked by an interview with political activist Chotisak Onsoong. By the time she was detained at the airport, Jiew had already shut down the Prachatai forum to [...]

22 07 2012
Lese majeste case dropped « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[...] Chotisak Onsoong and Songkran Pongbunjan [...]

22 07 2012
Lese majeste case dropped « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[...] Prachatai reports that the “public prosecutor has decided to drop a lèse majesté case against Chotisak Onsoong and his friend who did not stand up for the royal anthem in a Bangkok cinema in [...]

31 07 2012
Not standing for the royal anthem « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[...] Chotisak Onsoong and one other [...]

31 07 2012
Not standing for the royal anthem « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[...] release is from the Asian Human Rights Commission. It has useful information on the case against Chotisak Onsoong and his friend, who have been harassed for several years and were forced into [...]




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