Piling on computer-cum-lese majeste charges

11 06 2020

About a week ago, PPT posted on the prosecutor’s delay in the computer crimes-cum-lese majeste case against “Niranam_”, a Twitter name (meaning “Anonymous”). He is a 20-year-old Twitter user, accused of insulting the country’s monarchy.

Since Vajiralongkorn took the throne there has been a winding back of the use of the lese majeste law and, for the last couple of years, no cases that anyone has reported on. However, this change coincided with a rise in computer crimes and sedition charges against those accused of “insulting” the monarch and a string of enforced disappearances and murder of exiled anti-monarchy critics

In congruence with these trends, Prachatai reports that already arrested over a tweet about King Vajiralongkorn, “Niranam_” is now slapped with “7 more charges over tweets about the late King Rama IX and the King Rama X, seen as a threat to national security.”

The “threat” seems to be that “Niranam_” had tens of thousands of followers and especially teenagers.

The report states that “[i]f found guilty on all 8 charges, Niranam_ faces a maximum of 40 years in prison (maximum 5 years for each charge).”

He is now charged with uploading “false data” that included “photos of the two kings.” The charge is that there was “photo doctoring with the intention of undermining the monarch … tantamount to an offence against national security.”

Police are reportedly still investigating and then the state prosecutor will decide on which cases will go to court.

With the regime facing rising discontent and the absent king facing protests in Germany it seems that the knee-jerk regime/palace response is demonstrate its capacity for terror and repression through making examples of people like “Niranam_” and Wanchalearm Satsaksit.


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12 06 2020
Rising anger | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] it a coincidence that this disappearance and the lese majeste-like charges against a young Twitter user come when the king is furious that he is being targeted in Germany? We […]

16 06 2020
Monarchy and (more) repression | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] coincidence that this warning comes after the enforced disappearance of Wanchalaerm Satsaksit, the piling on of lese majeste-like computer crimes charges for young social media figure “Niranam_” and ongoing protests in Europe against […]

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