Ji on lese majeste

26 11 2014

Nut Rungwong, known as Somsak Pakdeedech, his pen name at the Thai E-News website he oversaw, was sentenced by a military court on 24 November 2014 to nine years in jail for lese majeste.

It was reported that the content leading “to the charge is an article by Ji Ungpakorn, a former Chulalongkorn University political scientist who has lived in self-exile in the UK since 2009. The article was published on the website in 2009.”

Ji has called to the country’s lese majeste law to be scrapped. He added: “This excuse that there’s some kind of special case in Thailand is just an excuse for repression… It’s more than about the King. It’s the way the elite, especially the military, use the King to justify their interference in politics.”

He made the all-too-obvious point that: “The lese majeste laws in Thailand are the opposite of human rights.” Ji points to the reason for lese majeste repression: “The important thing is that they’re not being used to defend the monarchy. They’re being used to suppress opposition to the status quo, especially the military dictatorship. The king could easily protected by ordinary laws like libel laws.”

His final point is also important: “The glaring outrage is that the prime minister of Thailand [The Dictator, General Prayuth Chan-ocha] is someone who ordered shooting on unarmed demonstrators in 2010, so you have a situation where editors and writers are being locked up but the real criminal is running the country.”


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