Recent Kasetsart University graduate Norawase Yospiyasathien was arrested and detained by police on 5 August 2011 for alleged lese majeste and infractions of the computer crimes laws. A few days later he was released on bail.
Apparently, his initial warrant for arrest was issued on 14 October 2010, when he was a final year student at the university. The University claims that Nipon Limlamthong, the Deputy Rector of the university, lodged the complaint made by another student. The University claimed that it had to file the police complaint because of pressure from the University Council and “wanted to protect the reputation of the university.”
Norawase’s alleged crime is to have copied texts from the Fa Diew Kan/Same Sky web-board, currently www.weareallhuman.info, on to his Windows Live page.
Prachatai states that, in response to the arrest, “two groups of academics and activists, Santiprachatham and Free Kasetsart, have launched sign-on campaigns to oppose the Deputy Rector’s action. Over 400 people have already signed on each of the campaigns.”
Pravit Rojanaphruk at The Nation reports that this arrest is part of an ongoing lese majeste witch hunt. He states that ASTV/Manager newspaper, “the mouthpiece of the yellow-shirt People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), on Monday produced the picture and name of the latest man charged under lese majeste laws.” It said that the “ultra-royalist social-sanction group (known as the SS) as declaring victoriously: ‘Another one is down’.”
SS posted information about the man “to assist, or even encourage, ultra-royalists to send threatening e-mail or make hate phone calls to the man and his family.”
Media commentary on Norawase’s case:
Prachatai, 7 November 2011: “Lèse majesté case against Kasetsart graduate forwarded to public prosecutor“
University World News, 13 August 2011: “THAILAND: Student blogger charged with lèse majesté“
Prachatai, 11 August 2011: “Bail Granted, Bail Denied“
IFEX, 10 August 2011: “Blogger released on bail, faces charges”
Prachatai, 7 August 2011: “Student held for alleged lese majeste“
The Nation, 7 August 2011: “Student held for alleged lese majeste“
Prachatai, 10 August 2011: “Latest alleged lèse majesté offender granted bail“