Portrait lese majeste

3 07 2022

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, cited by Prachatai, reported that digital artist Thopad Atanan, 27, was arrested on 30 June 2022 and charged with lese majeste and computer crimes.

According to the police, “the charges are related to a portrait of King Vajiralongkorn which was posted on Instagram on 16 September 2021. The police said that the portrait defamed the King…”. The arrest came 9 months after the allege offenses and Thopad had never received a summons.

It is reported that “11 police officers from the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) raided the home of … Thopad …, an independent digital artist who often posted artwork about the pro-democracy movement, and arrested her for royal defamation under Section 112 of the Thai Criminal Code and for importing into into a computer system data which is an offense against national security under Section 14 of the Computer Crimes Act.”

Armed with a search warrant, the police “confiscated a computer, a painting, and a mobile phone. They declined to let anyone photograph the arrest warrant and the search warrant.

Thopad denied all charges.

The police asked the court for temporary detention claiming they “still have to interview 4 additional witness[es], check her computer and mobile phone, and her criminal record.” The Court approved “bail on a 90,000-baht security, covered by the Will of the People Fund, a bail fund for people facing charges for participating in the pro-democracy movement.” The court also “ordered Thopad to appoint a supervisor and required her to present a letter of consent from her supervisor by Friday (1 July). The Court also set the conditions that she must not repeat her offense and must report to her supervisor every 15 days. She must also report to the court on 17 August 2022.”

According to TLHR, at least 208 people has been charged with royal defamation since November 2020, more than half of whom has been charged for their online political expression. 



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