Lese majeste charges flow fast and furious

10 11 2009

The Bangkok Post (10 November 2009: “Lese majeste complaint against Thaksin”) reports the “Siam Samakkhi Group on Tuesday filed two complaints alleging lese majeste with Dusit police against Thaksin and two other people.” The group included Senators Somchai Sawaengkarn and Warin Thiamjarat, General Somchet Boonthanom, who is reportedly a former chief of the secretariat of the Council for National Security, and Lt-Gen. Nanthadet Meksawat who is said to be a former deputy chief of the national intelligence co-ordination center.

It is stated that: “The first complaint was against Thaksin and Richard Loyd Parry, asia editor of The Times. Parry was the one interviewing Thaksin in Dubai. The second was against Jai Ungphakorn, a former lecturer of Chulalongkorn University who fled the country after being charged with lese majeste, and the website redsiam.net for disseminating articles alleged to contain lese majeste.”

These allegations are of serious concern for they relate to alleged offenses committed outside Thailand, and in the case of Parry, by a foreign national. PPT is sure that these complaints will be followed with considerable interest.

PPT has updated our pages on the lese majeste allegations against Thaksin and Giles, and we have added a page for Parry. PPT is having difficulty keeping up with all of the allegations of lese majeste and computer crimes that the current government and others are throwing about at present.

Update: The Times (11 November 2009: “Richard Lloyd Parry and Thaksin Shinawatra accused of lèse-majesté”) include a comment, reproduced in full here:

A group of Thai politicians and generals have accused a Times journalist of insulting the country’s monarchy by reporting comments by Thaksin Shinawatra — an offence that carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.

The complaint against Richard Lloyd Parry, the Asia editor of The Times, derives from an interview with Thaksin that was published in Monday’s newspaper and on Times Online the day before.

According to the Bangkok Post, members of a group of Thai monarchists called Siam Samakkhi (United Siam) have made an allegation of lèse-majesté against Thaksin and Mr Lloyd Parry. The Government blocked parts of Times Online from being accessed within the country.

Kasit Piromya, the Foreign Minister, said: “Thaksin’s interview is a violation of the monarchy, which is the country’s core pillar and a highly respected institution. It is unacceptable and should have never taken place.”

It is not clear which parts of the interview led to the complaint by four members of Siam Samakkhi. They include Senator Somchai Sawaengkarn, a critic of Thaksin, and General Somchet Boonthanom, the former head of the Thai Council for National Security.

In a letter published in The Times today, Thaksin says: “Accusations that I am against the monarchy have been used by my political enemies in Thailand many times in attempts to discredit me. They will not succeed for I am and always will be a faithful and loyal servant to the King.”

Lèse-majesté was enacted in the 1950s but has never been invoked by members of the Royal Family. Thai citizens are empowered to bring charges against others — although it is up to police and prosecutors to decide whether to act on them.

The BBC’s former South-East Asia correspondent, Jonathan Head, was investigated, although never charged, for the crime. One complaint was that a photograph of the King appeared below that of a Thai politician on a page on the BBC website.


Actions

Information

6 responses

10 11 2009
The Fast And The Furious 4

[…] a strange here: New: Lese majeste charges upsurge quick as well as mad « Political …Related PostsThe Fast and the Furious @ Great Salt Lake, Utah on Flickr – Photo …Fast and […]

14 11 2009
New: Hurt feelings not lese majeste? « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] attached to shadowing national security agencies recently lodged complaints with the police alleging lese majeste against Thaksin Shinawatra, The Times of London and its Asia editor Richard Lloyd Parry, the […]

24 07 2017
Fear and repression | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] dedicated anti-democrat, anti-Thaksin campaigner for more than a decade, hard core royalist and prone to accuse opponents of lese majeste, claimed “that he has learned of a plot to incite riots in a bid to overthrow the government […]

24 07 2017
Fear and repression | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] dedicated anti-democrat, anti-Thaksin campaigner for more than a decade, hard core royalist and prone to accuse opponents of lese majeste, claimed “that he has learned of a plot to incite riots in a bid to overthrow the government […]

10 06 2018
Snoozing snaps beget screams for media “reform” | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] dedicated anti-democrat, anti-Thaksin campaigner for more than a decade, hard core royalist and prone to accuse opponents of lese majeste. His rant is as […]

10 06 2018
Snoozing snaps beget screams for media “reform” | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] dedicated anti-democrat, anti-Thaksin campaigner for more than a decade, hard core royalist and prone to accuse opponents of lese majeste. His rant is as […]




%d bloggers like this: