Silencing witnesses

28 04 2018

Lese majeste, computer crimes, terrorism and sedition laws have been wielded by the military junta as a means to strangle and snuff out political opposition. Thousands have been arrested, detained, charged and many hundreds have spent time in jail.

This repression is about silencing dissent on the established social order and its institutions, as well as the military dictatorship itself.

Prachatai reports on one of the most odious of uses of these laws. The United Lawyers For Rights & Liberty “has initiated crowdfunding for the bail of a lèse majesté suspect who witnessed the 2010 military crackdown on the red-shirt protest and has been in detention for over three years.”

The lawyers are planning to submit another bail request for Nattathida Meewangpla or Waen who is also held on a terrorism charge. Earlier posts at PPT are here, here, here, here and here.

A volunteer nurse, Waen is an important witness in the murder of six individual at Wat Pathum Wanaram Temple by soldiers during the crackdown on red shirts on 19 May 2010.

For more than three years, she has been imprisoned by the regime having been arrested for terrorism and lese majeste, the courts have consistently denied her bail.

The impression is that the regime, led by generals responsible for the massacre, wants he silenced. Certainly, they have not been in any rush to proceed with her trial. Her first hearing is scheduled for May this year. The terrorism case has made little progress.

Waen was accused of being involved in the 2015 Bangkok Criminal Court bombing with the evidence being a transaction record of 5,000 baht to her by another suspect.

While the other three “terrorism” suspects were released on bail in July 2017, the Bangkok Military Court, Waen was kept in jail, accused of lese majeste sharing a message in a private Line chatroom.

The lawyer essentially argues that her devices were confiscated on her arrest on 11 March 2015, “but the alleged message was uploaded about a week later.” It is not unusual for the police and military to plant “evidence.”

The ULRL is now seeking “900,000 baht to bail her out of the two charges — 400,000 baht for the terrorism charge and 500,000 baht for the other [lese majeste].” Prachatai has details on donations for Waen and ULRL.



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19 05 2020
Updated: No one forgets 2010 | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] declared “safe.” Since those murders, the military has gone to extraordinary lengths to silence witnesses and silence campaigners. Of course, the military has a lot to hide. Sadly, the military has also […]

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