Since the 2014 military coup, quite a few Thais have fled the country. More precisely, they have fled the military junta’s repression. Prachatai has had several stories profiling some of the exiles.
The latest reported exile is Thanet Anantawong. He faced sedition charges and was also accused of computer crimes. Readers will recall that the diminutive Thanet was grabbed by the junta’s thugs from a hospital on 13 December 2015. Thanet faces up to seven years in prison.
At Khaosod it is reported that Thanet is believed to have fled. He has not been in touch with his lawyer in 2016 and “failed to appear at a Bangkok military court under the terms of his bail…”.
His lawyer says that Thanet and his father have been “harassed by soldiers who visited their places.”
Some worried that Thanet’s flight would make it harder for others to get bail in the future.
However, Akechai Hongkangwarn, a former lese majeste convict, “sympathizes because Thanet had previously served time in prison in the aftermath of the crackdown on Redshirt demonstrations in 2010. He said Thanet probably did not have an easy time in prison.”
Update: In a new report at Khaosod, Thanet says he will return to Thailand “to face justice,” but ” just not now…”. He stated: “You must understand me. If I am taken into prison the second time around, I will face worse punishment…. I am still fighting [for democracy]. I did not flee to save my skin or to ruin the movement. I fled because I was severely harassed. Ten to 20 soldiers are now observing my father [… upcountry].”