Further updated: Another lese majeste charge and Sondhi’s case

1 04 2010

It is both disturbing but also somewhat fitting that PPT’s 999th post should be about another lese majeste charge. Bangkok Pundit has noted another lese majeste arrest. It is striking how lese majeste becomes politically useful when the Democrat Party-led government is facing a deep challenge. This is most of BP’s report:

ASTV Manager reports that at 5:30 pm on April 1 arrested a 38 year old man in Pathum Thani Province named Tantawut Taweewarodomkul. The police stated that there was a video program on his website called “Thailand’s Way Out” (“ทางออกประเทศไทย”) on the www.norporchorusa.com website that was deemed to be lese majeste. This program also aired on the red shirt People’s Channel. Police obtained a search warrant to search the People’s Channel premises.

Police states that the accused offender has confessed he made was the person who distributed the statement. He said he was the website designer of the website in question and used the alias “red eagle”. In addition there are 2-3 people invovled in distribution of information for this website and police are investigating further.

A Police Colonel states that “most websites with lese majeste content are registered abroad, but some are registered in Thailand. The authorities are investigating to arrest those perpetrators, but this incident is unrelated to the red shirts protests” (“เว็บหมิ่นประมาทส่วนใหญ่จะมีการจดทะเบียนในต่างประเทศ แต่ก็มีบางเว็บที่จดทะเบียนในประเทศไทย ซึ่งเจ้าหน้าที่กำลังตรวจสอบและกำลังจะขยายผลจับกุม แต่เหตุการณ์นี้ไม่เกี่ยวข้องกับการชุมนุมของกลุ่มคนเสื้อแดงที่สะพานผ่าน ฟ้าแน่นอน” พล.ต.ท.ไถงกล่าว).

The police have filed charges under Section 112 of the Criminal Code, lese majeste, but also Section 14(3) of the Computer Crimes Act.

The website listed includes considerable anti-monarchy material and this case is looking like another that seeks to penalize Thais who post to overseas-based websites or provide information to such sites.

Update 1: Prachatai also has the story. Prachatai (2 April 2010) also reports that Sondhi Limthongkul‘s lese majeste case is progressing, but ever so slowly.

Update 2: PPT has included a page for Tantawut at our Pending Cases section, with a picture.



One response

3 04 2010
Sondhi’s gets a lese majeste break « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Further updated: Another lese majeste charge and Sondhi’s case04.1 […]

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