Army files lese majeste charges against Somsak

12 05 2011

Reuters summarizes some of the reporting on Somsak Jeamteerasakul’s appearance at the Nang Lerng police station on Wednesday.

As was expected, it was the army that filed a lese majeste complaint against the historian. Reuters states that this is “the latest in a series of moves by the military to reassert itself as a defender of the country’s revered royal family.”

There’s that seemingly required “revered” statement that flies in the face of the use of the lese majeste and the logic of recent developments. Note that Reuters here refers to the whole royal family, thus expanding the usual statement of who is supposedly revered.

Somsak was, according to Prachatai, met at the station by some 50-60 supporters carrying banners of support and opposing the use of lese majeste, together with reporters. The Prachatai report is in Thai, and has some interesting pictures.

Reuters says that Somsak stated: “I’ll fight the case … I denied the charges because I’m certain what I wrote was not illegal…”.The report adds that the “army has not publicly explained what Somsak is alleged to have said.”

Reuters says that Somsak is “one of the few Thais who has openly spoken critically about the role of the monarchy, has called for a repeal of the lese-majeste law as part of an eight-point proposal to reform the institution and which he presented at a seminar on Dec. 10.” It adds that Somsak “denies being a republican and has called for more openness and accountability concerning the constitutional monarchy.”

Somsak has “received several mysterious phone calls and visitors since unveiling his proposal. The threats, he says, have increased since he penned a commentary about the institution [they mean the monarchy] in April.”



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12 05 2011
Links to recent coverage of Somsak case | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] is short on time at the moment, but has been pleased to see so much coverage of the charges against Somsak Jeamteerasakul. Links below highlight crucial items of interest. PPT hopes to have more time to offer analysis in […]

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