Activist hit with 112 charge

3 08 2022

Prachatai reports that Shinawat Chankrachang, a democracy campaigner and anti-112 activist, was arrested on 30 July 2022, charged using Article 112, computer crimes, and “using a sound amplifier without permission for participating in a protest in front of the South Bangkok Criminal Court on 28 July, in which protesters stood for 1 hours and 12 minutes to demand the release of detained activists.”

As is usual – and increasingly seems state organized – the complaint against Shinawat “was filed on 29 July by the ultra-royalist group People’s Centre to Protect the Monarchy, which claimed that Chinnawat acted ‘inappropriately’ in front of the King’s portrait, and that he gave a speech accusing the King of using judicial power to harass people.”

Shinawat was reportedly “arrested at around 18.20 on Saturday (30 July). Officers from Yannawa Police Station went to his home and presented an arrest warrant before taking him to the Narcotics Suppression Bureau on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, despite the protest taking place in Yannawa Police Station’s jurisdiction.”

He was held at the Narcotics Suppression Bureau for two nights before appearing before the royalist South Bangkok Criminal Court on 1 August.

Before getting to the court Shinawat had already “refused to take part in the judicial process, and so did not allow his lawyer to object to the temporary detention request or post bail for him.”

The Court later approved his detention for 12 days and he’s being held at the Bangkok Remand Prison while the police conduct something referred to as “an investigation.”

Shinawat questioned “the neutrality of the court when ruling on a case of royal defamation, since it has declared itself to be an organization acting in the name of the King.” He argued that: “Since the King is a party to the conflict in a royal defamation case, … he refused to accept the authority of the court until it can prove itself to be neutral and not under the authority of the King.”

At the rally, “Chinnawat and several other protesters also shaved their heads in front of a portrait of King Vajiralongkorn to call attention to the use of the royal defamation law against citizens without regard for human rights. They also performed a traditional curse ritual involving the burning of salt and chilli.”

Ginger Cat photo clipped from Prachtai

This is not Shinawat’s first lese majeste charge (see here and here).

We at PPT are elated that Shinawat is challenging the royalist judiciary! It is hoped that this is (another) beginning to such challenges.



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