Free Somyos

30 04 2014

Lese majeste is a law that loudly proclaims the failings of Thailand’s establishment politics.

As Thailand’s politics became more vigorous and divided following the 2006 military coup, arrests and imprisoning through accusations of lese majeste and acts against “national security” have become increasingly common. Lese majeste and the Computer Crimes Act are used to denounce political opponents and, more significantly, to protect privileges and positions. somyos

There can be few more poignant cases of these failures than that of Somyos Prueksakasemsuk. PPT has been following his case since 30 April 2011, when he was arrested in Aranyaprathet province. He was arrested and charged on allegations of violating Article 112, the lese majeste law. Kept in jail until his trial, often in chains and cages when he made court appearances, on 23 December 2013, Somyos was sentenced to 5 years on each of two lese majeste charges, with an extra year added from a previous suspended sentence for insulting General Saprang Kalayanamit, a leader of the 2006 royalist coup and an activist on lese majeste.

Today, Somyos has been incarcerated for 3 years.

Read about his case here.

A few days ago academics demanded that the Thai government to do the following:

1. Grant Somyot Prueksakasemsuk bail while he appeals his case;

2. Grant bail to all prisoners awaiting trial, awaiting decisions, or appealing under Article 112; and

3. Abolish Article 112.

PPT agrees, although we think dropping all charges would be a far more civilized act.





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