When the military junta seized power in 2014 it went to extraordinary lengths to suppress anti-coup activists. As the latter found political space narrowed, they took to small displays of resistance. This led to the military dictatorship banning any action that it considered subversive. It banned three-finger salutes. It banned reading books in public places. It banned the eating of sandwiches.
Such ridiculousness has reached the military court as it has, according to a Prachatai report, “handed out three months jail term to an elderly teacher accused of sedition for giving flower to an anti-junta activist.” Preecha Kaewbanpaew, a 77-year-old retired teacher, “was charged under Article 116 of the Criminal Code, the sedition law, and violation of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) [the military junta] Announcement No. 7/2014, 37/2014 and 38/2014 for participating in a political gathering of five or more people.”
On 23 May 2016, Preecha was sentenced to six months jail and fined 8,000 baht for such a dastardly and state-threatening act of giving a flower to a protester.
We assume that the military court and its bosses in the junta considered this “crime” so dastardly and state-threatening because Preecha dared give flowers in support of “Pansak Srithep, a pro-democracy activist and the father of a boy killed by the military during the 2010 political violence…”.
The military court “halved the sentence to three months imprisonment and 4,000 baht fine as Preecha pleaded guilty and suspended the jail term for one year.”
Big deal. That the military court could even hear such a case is an indication of the depths the military junta descends in protecting the regime and the existing social and political order.
This is a reprehensible and quite bizarre regime.