Cruel and inhumane

1 02 2017

As expected, Khon Kaen’s provincial court again refused to bail lese majeste “suspect” and anti-junta activist Jatuphat (Pai) Boonpattaraksa.

Today, the court again decided to meet in secret to hear a sixth bail application.

That secret deliberation again “granted police permission to continue the detention of … Pai …, a law student and key member of the New Democracy Movement (NDM)” for another 10 days.

After 41 days of “investigation,” it seems the police claim to have “found CDs which can be used as new evidence in the case.”

This is remarkable. Even if the Thai police force is one of the most corrupt and incompetent on the planet, this claim beggars belief. We can only guess they found them in a police computer. The dubious claim does suggest that there other “evidence” is nonsense.

But, then, that’s par for the course in lese majeste cases, where the police and military seldom actually need evidence. Rather, they subject suspects to cruel and inhumane detention and demand a guilty plea.

Some “80 people travelled to the court to observe the hearing and give moral support to the activist. However, they were not allowed to enter the courtroom because the court decided to hold the hearing in secret.”

Sadly, one of the other tactics in such cases is to pressure family. In this case, Prim, Jatuphat’s mother, “was devastated by the court’s decision.” Prachatai reports that:

Upon hearing that the court chose to conduct the hearing in-camera, Prim began hitting her head repeatedly against the courtroom’s wall. She said to the judges that though the Universal Declaration of Human Rights could not protect the rights of her child, she as a mother was willing to trade her life in exchange for her son’s justice.

Unfortunately, the treatment of Jatuphat follows a pattern in lese majeste cases. That pattern shows that a failure to “confess” leads to unlawful and unconstitutional treatment and long detention for a trial that is repeatedly delayed – a form of torture. It can also result in vindictive sentencing, as seen in Somyos Prueksakasemsuk’s case.

Such cruel and inhumane treatment of those considered oppositional has only gotten worse under the reign of thuggish royalists and the disgraceful military dictatorship.


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