Seeking more political prisoners

7 11 2016

The military dictatorship insists it is still seeking lese majeste extraditions. According to a report at The Nation a few days ago, it seems that the junta is hoping that, like them, the governments of Laos and Cambodia will ignore their own laws:

Legally speaking, the extradition of lese majeste fugitives from Cambodia and Laos is impossible, since treaties signed by Thailand with its two immediate neighbours don’t allow it. But legal loopholes can be found in such cases.

In fact, they are not legal loopholes, but bringing political pressure on those governments.

The military dictatorship is seeking the extradition of “three of the suspects … in Cambodia and six … in Laos,”

Treaties with Cambodia and Laos “contain grounds for mandatory refusal of extraction if there is a political offence involved.”

As the report makes clear, “[l]ese majeste is a political crime by nature, since the law in question effectively prevents any debate on the Kingdom’s head of state, rendering them ‘untouchable’.”

It makes the excellent points that:

Thai governments and their supporters routinely abuse Article 112 by using it to gag political opponents. Exploiting the monarchy’s high status in society, authorities enforce the lese majeste as if the country were still ruled by an absolute monarchy.

The hopes that both countries can be convinced to use “loopholes” to deport the junta’s political opponents back to Thailand for certain jail terms of many years.