Iconoclast escapes a 112 charge

26 01 2021

Prachatai’s Facebook page has announced that a court has found aged writer Bundith Arniya not guilty in another of the lese majeste charges he has faced over several years.

As far as we can ascertain, this refers to Bundith’s third case of lese majeste that began on 12 September 2015, when police detained him for making comments about the need for equality of all classes in a new constitution during a seminar at Thammasat University. Apparently, equality frightened Thailand’s military bosses of the time, especially when discussing the junta’s draft constitution, and it must threaten the palace because king’s and royals are not equal with the plebians, an issue that Bundith raised.

Bundith proposed five principles for the draft constitution, one of which is about human dignity. The royalist police allege that the comment about human dignity contained references to the monarchy: “The value of humanity and dignity of humanity of the Thai nationwide, must be higher than dust…”.

Now 80 years old, the court determined that his comments did not directly refer to the monarch “as he did not use the royal words. Therefore, people can interpret his comment in many ways.”

Bundith has now beaten two lese majeste cases in the courts and was convicted of one.


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