Another lèse majesté charge in Korat

26 04 2009

Prachatai (26 April 2009: “Red-shirts in Khorat charged with lèse majesté for burning coffin in protest against Prem”) reports yet another politically-motivated lèse majesté charge in the northeastern gateway province of Nakorn Ratchasima.

On 24 April, Papatchanan Ching-in, 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 lèse majesté 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. Prachatai includes a clip of the statement by Sondhi, trying to avoid lèse majesté charges against Prachatai. The Korat Post includes this: “The text on the front of the coffin read, “His Majesty…General Prem…The PAD…Government of Crooks…born….died 8 April 2009.” See Bangkok Pundit on the earlier story on Prem and Sondhi.

Police said that charges had been filed by a military officer 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. She must report to court on 6 May.

No charges have been laid against Papatchanan’s friends, who have yet to be identified by the police.

Papatchanan (or Daeng) is a controversial figure in Korat and has previously accused others of lèse majesté (see here for one account).



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