In politics, in recent years, the lese majeste law has been used to target political opponents of the royalist regime, and most especially red shirts.
The political interventions by the monarchy and on its behalf have been eye-opening for some. For others, these interventions have been a part of a restorationist project since 1932.
Leaving aside the vicious attacks on the prince’s problems and the use of lese majeste to “solve” those marriage issues, when red shirts have been accused of lese majeste, the outcome has been jail for almost all, sometime for decades. The military courts under the military dictatorship has been especially vicious.
But not for those who are identified as supporters of the military regime and yellow-shirted politics.
Prachatai reports that the military court “has for the first time in history suspended the jail term for a pro-establishment yellow shirt lese majeste convict, accused of publishing a false royal statement.”
On 29 September 2015, rabid ASTV propagandist Niran Yaowapha was sentenced to 5 years in jail for lese majeste and under the 2007 Computer Crime Act.
Niran published “a forged statement of the Bureau of the Royal Household, which stated that [… the king] had decided to appoint a Regent to act on his behalf on 2 February 2015.”
As usual, with the defendant pleading guilty, the court halved the jail term. It then used its double standards and “suspended the jail term for two years, reasoning that the convict tried to fix his mistake by immediately taken down the false statement from ASTV website as soon as it had been notified and issued a statement of apology.”
Essentially, the yellow shirt got a let off for his political position.
A lese majeste case against red shirt Krit Bootdeejean is ongoing. He is accused of circulating the same statement.
Update: We have now had time to check the claim we quoted above – that the military court “has for the first time in history suspended the jail term for a pro-establishment yellow shirt lese majeste convict, accused of publishing a false royal statement.” We are now not exactly sure what this claim means and wonder if it applies only to military courts. Certainly others have been given suspended sentences. We can note Chaleaw J., where on 1 September 2014 the Criminal Court sentenced him to three years imprisonment. However, because of a guilty plea and good record, the jail term was halved and suspended for two years.” This was appealed and Chaleaw was later sentenced with no suspension. Likewise, Natchakit M. received a suspended sentence from the Supreme Court, Robert R. received a suspended sentence from a civilian court in 2007, Thitinant Kaewchantranont initially received a suspended sentence, but this was overturned on appeal, and Uthai received a suspended sentence in 2012.