Tiwagorn’s 112 good news

30 09 2022

Some relatively good 112 news. According to media reports, the “Khon Kaen Provincial Court has dropped a lèse majesté case filed against Tiwagorn Withiton, whose picture wearing a shirt printed with “I lost faith in the monarchy” went viral in 2020.”

The lese majeste charge against Tiwagorn resulted from his “I have lost faith in the monarchy” t-shirt and his Facebook posts about it. His first appeared in the shirt on 16 June 2020 and wore it to the market and on the farm.

The ruling given on 29 September 2022, with the Court finding “that the evidence did not prove that the defendant intended to defame or express hostility to the monarch.”

After the ruling, Tiwagorn is reported as saying: “I’m also surprised because I really thought I would get it. This is beyond my expectation. Is this mercy?”

Tiwagorn was prosecuted for lese majeste, sedition, and computer crimes on 26 or 27 May 2021. His t-shirt statement caused a stir as he was not defaming or criticizing the monarchy, but declaring his own loss of faith.

This act initially confused the state’s monarchy police who tried to convince him to give up the t-shirt and not advertise his lost faith. When he refused, his mother was told lies by officials, and he was arrested, dragged from his home, and forcibly admitted to Khon Kaen’s Rajanagarindra Psychiatric Hospital. Officials seemed to believe that anyone who had no faith in the monarchy was mad. In fact, though, they were concerned to prevent a social media blitz of other announcing this loss of faith in the corrupt institution.

He was discharged from the hospital following a public campaign demanding his release.

At the time, the police announced that they would submit the case to the Bureau of the Royal Household for their decision on further action.

Tiwagorn was re-arrested on 4 March 2021 and taken to Tha Phra Police Station in Khon Kaen on charges under Article 112, Section 116, and the Computer Crimes Act because of Facebook posts he made on 11 and 18 February 2021.

On 26 May 2021, he was informed that the public prosecutor had decided to proceed with the case. The Khon Kaen Provincial Court accepted a lese majeste case filed against Tiwagorn. He was granted bail using a security of 150,000 baht.

The court’s decision may still be appealed by prosecutors.


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7 10 2022
The monarchy and “sedition” | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Readers will recall the “good news” from late last month, when a court in Khon Kaen rejected a lese majeste case against Tiwagorn Withiton. The bad news is that Prachatai has reported that on 4 October, the Lampang Provincial Court found Tiwagorn “guilty of sedition [Article 116] for inviting netizens to cast votes in a campaign asking whether the Thai people wanted to have a referendum about having a monarch as head of the state.” […]

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