Updated: Lese majeste for the coup anniversary

19 09 2010

As if the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime wants to remind people of its repressive power and its capacity to utilize lese majeste as a political means to censor and silence critics, a new report of yet another lese majeste case has come to light.

In a brief breaking news story at the Bangkok Post, it is reported:

A man who is wanted under an arrest warrant issued by the Criminal Court for posting comments deemed offending the monarchy has been arrested, Royal Thai Police spokesman Pol Maj-Gen Prawut Thavornsiri said on Saturday.

Pol Maj-Gen Prawut said the man, identified as Wiset Pichitlamkhen, was arrested by immigration police at Suvarnabhumi airport while he was about to leave the country.

The spokesman did not say when the man was arrested.  He said only that the suspect had been handed over to the Department of Special Investigation for further legal proceedings.

Police chief Wichean Potephosree has ordered the immigration police to watch for suspects under arrest warrants travelling in and out through immigration checkpoints, he said.

PPT doesn’t know any more about the case and would welcome reader input. At the same time, this arrest, on the orders of the royalist police chief, seems darkly appropriate on the anniversary of the royalist coup, as a hugely symbolic action by the royalist-military regime and as a small gift to the hospitalized king to reassure him that the royalist prime minister is continuing to protect him.

Update: And then there is the case against the magazine Fah Diew Kan. Prachatai reports that the ever-reliable censors at the Ministry of Culture are joining with Thailand’s lese majeste KGB to “set up a panel to investigate Same Sky magazine [Fah Diew Kan] for alleged lèse majesté content.” The report states that the “Police Special Branch and the National Library have confirmed that the magazine has not been registered, so legal action must be taken. The penalty is imprisonment for up to 6 months. The National Library is now trying to contact the editor…”. A panel continues to investigate. This is not the first time that the magazine and its editor have been attacked using lese majeste laws.

For PPT, the idea that librarians are doing the fascist-like work of the DSI and Abhisit regime is, frankly, disgusting. But it is not uncommon in totalitarian regimes, and that seems to be the location Prime Minister Abhisit fancies for Thailand. Chillingly, it seems the investigation of magazines is being broadened. PPT would not be surprised to eventually see book burnings.


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24 09 2010



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