Apichart Pongsawat is a brave anti-coup activist who also has lese majeste charges being considered by police and military.
At Prachatai it is reported that prosecutors have still not decided whether to press lese majeste charge against him. Yet he faces other charges that have gone to court. The charges are essentially that he is critical of the military junta and will not submit to it.
Despite the threat of a heavy jail term, Apichart has vowed “to stand firm on principles and fight on” against the charges that he violated the illegal junta’s ban on political gatherings.
The charges relate to a protest immediately after the May 2014 coup, when he was “arrested by military officers in front of Bangkok Art and Cultural Center (BACC) in central Bangkok while he was holding a flyers reads ‘I will not accept barbaric power’ while shouting pro-democracy slogans against the coup maker, such as“return the power to the people’.” That was 23 May.
The military arrested him and he was held for 30 days, eventually getting bail.
Apichart declares he did nothing wrong. He says he did his duty: “According to the 2007 Constitution, citizens are entitled to protect the rule of law under the constitution and I did just that…”.
The judge has told Apichart and his lawyers “that since the case is not serious and if proven guilty, the sentence is not heavy…”. Apichart’s response is to fight on, stating: “I do not accept the authorities of the junta for they are not legitimate…”.