FCCT Charges Expand

2 07 2009

Lesè majesté charges in relation to speech at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Thailand (FCCT) in 2007 have expanded to include the entire fifteen-person board of the organization.

According to Pravit Rojanaphruk’s article in the Nation (2 July 2009, “FCCT board faces police probe over lese majeste”), “Laksana Kornsilpa, 57, a translator and a critic of ousted and convicted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra filed a lese majeste complaint against the 13-member board at Lumpini police station on Tuesday night. Laksana was quoted on ASTV Manager website as claiming the board’s decision to sell DVD copies of Jakrapob Penkair’s controversial speech at the club back in 2007 constituted an act of lese majeste. She alleged that the whole board “may be acting in an organised fashion and the goal may be to undermine the credibility of the high institution of Thailand.””

The Southeast Asian Press Alliance and the Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH) have issued statements condemning the charges.

PPT also directs your attention to the excellent collections of links and analysis at New Mandala (Nicholas Farrelly, 2 July 2009, “The lese majeste circus continues”) and Bangkok Pundit (1 July 2009, “Lese Majeste Complaint Against the FCCT”)

Perhaps, as one commenter on New Mandala suggests, “This escalation is necessary to push the LM circus into a full and revelatory crisis of absurdity and unsustainability.”  The question remains, however, at what cost? How many lives will be harmed, how much speech repressed, and how many people’s human rights will  be violated before the the crisis becomes revelatory?


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9 07 2009
New: Royalist news round-up « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] few days ago we reported (here and here) on the extraordinary allegations made by of lèse majesté made against the entire executive board […]




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