Updated: Anti-112 graffiti at the Grand Palace

29 03 2023

The Bangkok Post and Coconuts Bangkok report that Suttawee Soikham, 24, a native of Khon Kaen was “arrested for spray-painting the number 112 [an anti-lese majeste symbol and an anarchist-looking symbol] on the wall of the [Grand Palace] Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok on Tuesday evening has been hit with police charges carrying up to seven years in prison.” Police said Suttawee was “a freelance artist and a member of the Free Youth movement.”

He was reportedly “seen by two police officers about 5.40pm using black spray paint to write and then cross out the number 112 on the wall … in the grounds of the Grand Palace, on Na Phra Lan Road in Phra Nakhon district…. He was immediately arrested and taken to Metropolitan Police Division 6 for questioning.”

A 15-year-old girl was also arrested and police “said later that she was wanted on a warrant for lese-majeste in connection with a pro-democracy demonstration near the Giant Swing on Oct 13 last year. She is believed to be the youngest person among the 200-plus people charged with royal defamation in the past three years.”

Video and pictures of the daubing “went viral on social media on Tuesday night.”

Within a few hours, the political graffiti “had been removed and the white wall repainted.”

Police “pressed two charges against Mr Suttawee — violating the Cleanliness Act, which carries a penalty of up to one month in prison and/or fine of 10,000 baht, and a charge under Section 32 of the Ancient Monuments Act, which can bring a prison term of up to seven years and/or a fine up to 700,000 baht.”

He was reportedly “released on bail with a surety of 50,000 baht…”. Meanwhile the teenager, identified as Yok,

Yok was detained overnight at the Samran Rat police station. She appeared on Wednesday in juvenile and family court, where she refused to recognise the proceedings, sitting with her back to the judge. She was ordered into juvenile detention at the Ban Pranee Juvenile Vocational Training Center for Girls in Nakhon Pathom, according to the lawyers’ group.

Army chief Gen Narongpan Jittkaewtae “confirmed that soldiers were guarding the grounds of the Grand Palace and other important places.” Important probably means royal place, monuments and other propaganda pieces.

Update: For more on Suttawee  see here.



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