Updated: No bail on lese majeste

9 09 2014

Khaosod reports that two detainees who are accused under the draconian lese majeste law for their roles in  a theatrical performance in October 2013 “were denied bail for the second time in criminal court today.” This is now standard operating procedure in most lese majeste cases: presume them guilty before trial and lock them up.

Patiwat Saraiyaem and Pornthip Munkong have been jailed since mid-August.

The court came up with a rather different excuse for keeping them locked up. Usually the media report that the judge says that he or she fears flight by the accused. This time the court reportedly stated that “it is necessary to detain Mr. Patiwat and Ms. Pornthip until the investigation into their alleged wrongdoing is complete…”. Normally that would be unconstitutional, but Thailand operates essentially under the military dictatorship’s rules, so constitutionalism is out the window.

The court is saidto have “instructed officials to ‘quickly wrap up their investigation.” That is not a good sign for the defendents for these cases hardly involve much real evidence.

Update: Read Achara Ashayagachat’s very useful account of one of these jailed activists.


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