Updated: The lese majeste express

14 10 2014

The police are reported at Prachatai, telling the world that “from 2011-2014, there were 93 cases related to Article 112, or the lèse majesté law, pending with the police.” The vast majority of these cases are reportedly “committed on social media and in speeches during political rallies.” That means that almost all of those accused are political activists associated with the red shirt movement.

No doubt under considerable pressure from the royalist military junta, the police declare they “intend to speed up investigation of lèse majesté cases, along with other cases related to national security.” The police have been told to get on board the lese majeste express and implement lese majeste repression in support of the military dictatorship and the royalist regime.

Acting Deputy National Police Chief, Pol Lt Gen Chakthip Chaijinda “told media … that The National Police have resolved on a policy to complete 50 per cent of the Article 112 cases so that only about 46 cases are left by end of this year.” The police will also be chasing “those living overseas and those who have fled abroad.”

In a second report at Prachatai, the “Criminal Court … ruled to continue the detention of two lèse majesté suspects and denied a bail request from one suspect.”

One Bangkok court dismissed a bail request by lese majeste suspect Tanet (family name withheld), who is HIV positive. In his petition, he “cited his poor health conditions as the reason for bail.”

That the judge rejected the bail request is entirely “normal” in royalist courts in royalist Thailand. Yet the judges “reasoning” is revealing of the royalist mind.

The judge states that Tanet was accused of:

distributing false information that could affect public sentiment and aimed to harm the reputation of the beloved Thai monarchy. This is related to national security. The suspect has conducted a serious crime and might escape. Although the suspect claimed that he is in poor health and need to be taken care of by physicians, the proof is not sufficient. Therefore, the court cannot allow temporary release,” said the judge.

According to iLaw, the court also said the document concerning Tanet’s medical condition provided by the lawyer was not strong enough to convince the court to rule otherwise.

Tanet remains accused of “sending an email containing a link to lèse majesté content to Emilio Estaban, who ran the StopLeseMajeste blog.”

A second court “ruled to extend the detention of Pornthip M., 26, for another seven days, at the request of the public prosecutor.” The prosecutor has until 25 October to complete the case against her. She’s been held since mid-August for an alleged “crime” committed by being involved with the political play “The Wolf Bride,” about “a fictional monarchy,” in October 2013, for “the fortieth anniversary of the 14 October 1973 people’s uprising.”

Lese majeste repression is critical for the royalist military dictatorship.

Update: A reader reminds us to look at our own posts when naming names. We neglected to note that Pol Lt Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, who is speaking about lese majeste has declared assets of 968,370,064 baht and 18 satang. Unusually wealthy? Lucky in life? Or something else?



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