News on Somyos and Surachai

23 07 2013

In the all too depressing lese majeste cases of Somyos Prueksakasemsuk and Surachai Danwattananusorn, The Nation reports on some developments, neither likely to reduce the gloom.

Somyos is about to apply for bail again on Wednesday. This is his 15th application.

His wife Sukunya Prueksakasemsuk says that this time his application is supported “by signatures of members of the public who support the request along with an increased bond to guarantee that her husband will not run away.” The family is now putting up 3.7 million baht, being all the property they own.

In Surachai’s case, the situation is especially bleak. At 71, Surachai is not in great health, and has been awaiting a royal pardon.

However, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has now said “they were waiting to press another lese majeste charge against him.” His wife reports that:

… Surachai, leader of Red Siam faction of the red shirts, was very upset and felt betrayed by the ruling Pheu Thai Party, whom he had supported. The possible charge relates to a speech by Surachai in Chiang Mai province in February 2011.

In these cases it is impossible to discern why it is that these two men – along with Darunee Charnchoensilpakul – have been selected for especially harsh punishment on lese majeste charges. PPT suspects it is because, as radical leaders, they are singled out as examples of the punishment that awaits political activists who challenge the monarchy and its role anchoring elite rule in Thailand.


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