Send and SMS, get up to 15 years in jail?

20 01 2011

Sadly, as we write posts of PPT’s second anniversary, another person is in court on lese majeste charges. Prachatai reports on the case of Ampol Tangnopakul, a 61 year-old man arrested by Crime Suppression Division police on 3 August 2010 for sending SMS messages considered offensive to the monarchy to several important people, including Prime Minister Abhisith Vejjajiva.

When he appeared in court, Ampol was detained without bail after being indicted for lese majeste. According to his lawyer, Ampol “lives with his wife, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren in a rented room in Samut Prakan. He is retired and is given about 3,000 baht a month by his children. He has cancer of the mouth, and has had to see doctors regularly since 2007.” Even so, after a day of consideration, the court “dismissed the bail request, saying that the alleged crimes against the monarchy were severe and he might flee. Amphon was then taken to Bangkok Remand Prison.”

This is simply another politically-motivated and cowardly attack on a poor man who is vulnerable by the highest powers in the land. Of course, Ampol is targeted as a keen red shirt.

Ampol appeared before the Criminal Court on 18 January, to be “charged with violating Sections 14 (2) and (3) of the 2007 Computer Crimes Act, Section 112 of the Criminal Code (dealing with lèse majesté) and Decree 41 of the 1976 coup which changed the penalty for lèse majesté from a maximum of 7 years in prison to 3-15 years.” He has already been held more than 5 months.

Two years after PPT first raised this political crime in our pages, the trend on accusations and convictions is climbing. The current government deserves continued condemnation for its use of these politically-biased and inane laws.


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20 01 2011
Tweets that mention Send and SMS, get up to 15 years in jail? | Political Prisoners in Thailand -- Topsy.com

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Incognito, Emilio Esteban, Drama, Amanda Thomas, อิสระภาพ แห่งข่าวสาร and others. อิสระภาพ แห่งข่าวสาร said: Send and SMS, get up to 15 years in jail?: Sadly, as we write posts of PPT’s second anniversary, another person … http://bit.ly/gsWt4u […]