More royal portrait charges

10 11 2021

Prachatai reports the case of Taem (pseudonym), 31, a man from Ubon Ratchathani, “arrested on Saturday (6 November) for damaging a portrait of the King displayed in front of the Trakan Phuetphon district high school.”

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) say that Taem was “arrested while standing in front of a portrait of the King at a local bus station and later confessed to damaging three portraits of the King at various locations around the district.”

Taem, who is treated for mental illness, had to “sign an arrest record before he was able to consult with a lawyer.” His charge is “destruction of property,” and he was “held at Trakan Phuetphon Police Station for two nights.” He was released without bail on 8 November.

His mother states that Taem “has been displaying symptoms of mental illness since being discharged from the Navy.  Drafted at 21, he was assaulted while a conscript.” He is “receiving treatment at the Prasrimahabhodi Psychiatric Hospital and has been prescribed medication which he needs to take regularly.”

Taem “also has a disability ID, a card which Taem’s lawyer delivered to police as evidence along with his medications.”

Taem’s mother said he “did not take his medications on the day he damaged the portraits and later told her that voices from heaven made him do it.”

Charging the disabled with offenses related to the monarchy, including lese majeste, has not been uncommon in royalist Thailand.



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