Reviving 112 cases

4 01 2021

Thai Alliance for Human Rights reports on a disturbing development in the avalanche of lese majeste cases.

On September 22 of 2020, after attending a mass protest at Sanam Luang, Mr. Issaret, age 45, was arrested and prosecuted on an old lese majesty charge from 2016. He believes he was the first person prosecuted for lese majesty in 2020, this after a semi-official break from new lese majesty cases in 2018 and 2019. He was held in jail 4 days and released on bail.

The original charge relates to a Facebook post that pointed “out an unconstitutional delay in the succession from King Bhumipol to King Vajiralongkorn:

“Please don’t lie anymore. Open [things] up so the citizens can know. What are those [horrible] guys bargaining together about? I suggest all you bananaheads of this beautiful world [the phrase rhymes in Thai] study the Constitution sections 23 and 24 . Clear your brains. So why haven’t they announced the 10th monarch yet? Politics is a matter for all the citizens, every one of them, not excluding the trash collectors. Don’t be stupid. It’s been over 24 hours. They haven’t appointed a king because there is a fight for the throne.”

Whether Issaret was right or wrong – we happen to think the latter – is not the point. Clearly a 112 charge for this post is ludicrous.

A laborer, Issaret reportedly “briefly fled to Laos because of the charge in 2016, and says he knew the other lese majesty refugee there, including one who would later be assassinated, as well as all the members of Faiyen band. He says life was very difficult for all the refugees.”

He returned to Thailand when lese majeste charges were no longer being laid. Now, the situation has changed. But, as far as we can tell, his case is the first one from the past to be reactivated.


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