Patiwat Saraiyaem

PatiwatPatiwat Saraiyaem is a 23 year-old student and activist at Khon Kaen University. He was arrested on 14 August 2014 and later charged with lese majeste by prosecutors. He was sent to jail for 2.5 years on 23 February 2015.

Patiwat was Secretary General of the Student Federation of the North East.

Patiwat, along with a separately arrested and detained activist, Pornthip Munkhong, for their involvement in a political play, The Wolf Bride (เจ้าสาวหมาป่า), about a fictional monarch and kingdom.

The Wolf Bride was reportedly “performed in October 2013 at the Main Auditorium, Thammasat University, Bangkok, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 14 October Popular Uprising…. The play was organized by former members of the now-defunct Prakai Fai Karn Lakorn, part of the left-leaning Prakai Fai group.”

By 26 October 2014, Patiwat had been denied bail six times. With Pornthip, Patiwat entered guilty please on lese majeste charges on 29 December 2014.

In pleading guilty, the defendants requested that the court suspend the jail terms they expect to receive. The court handed out sentences of 5 years, reduced by half for a guilty plea.

The royalist judges stated that: “performing the play … was an act of defamation and insult in front of numerous people…. Moreover, it was disseminated on many websites, causing damage to the monarchy, which is revered by all Thais [sic.]. Such action is a grave crime that warrants no suspension of the punishment.”

A lawyer said the two defendants were unlikely to appeal the verdict. In fact, experience shows that an appeal results in further punishment and even torture-like legal processes meant to punish the appellants who are almost always refused bail.

Police are reportedly searching for another six people involved in the play, and it is believed that several of them have fled royalist Thailand under the military dictatorship.

Patiwat was released on 12 August 2016.

Media accounts of Patiwat’s case:

PEN Canada, 6 September 2016: “Thailand: Student Activists Released Early

Khaosod, 16 August 2016: “Exasperating Wait For Release of Loved Ones From Prison

Radio Australia, 25 February 2015: “Human rights groups slam jailing of two Thai students for ‘royal insult’ in university play

Asian Correspondent, 24 February 2015: “Thai court jails theater activists for lese majeste

Sydney Morning Herald, 24 February 2015: “Thailand jails two for insulting the monarchy in a university play

Bangkok Post, 24 February 2015: “Charged scenes as dramatist pair jailed for lese majeste

The Australian, 24 February 2015: “Thai theatre activists jailed for lese majeste

The Nation, 24 February 2015: “Jailing of actors for lese majeste stirs criticism

Voice of America, 23 February 2015: “2 Students Given Jail Terms for Defaming Thai Royal Family

Daily Mail, 23 February 2015: “Two Thais are jailed for more than two years for ‘defaming the monarchy’ in a university play

The Indian Express, 23 February 2015: “Producers of ‘The Wolf Bride’ convicted for mocking the Thai monarchy

Channel 4 News, 23 February 2015: “Jailed for satire: Thailand’s lese majeste convictions

Irish Independent, 23 February 2015: “Thailand jails students for insulting monarchy in play

The Times, 23 February 2015: “Thais jailed over satirical play about a king

Business Times, 23 February 2015: “Thailand jails two on royal insult charge

Lonely Planet Travel News, 23 February 2013: “Two jailed for insulting Thailand’s monarchy

Zee News, 23 February 2015: “Thai actors sentenced for crime of lese-majeste

Deutsche Welle, 23 February 2015: “Rights groups slam conviction of Thai theater activists for royal slur

Associated Press, 23 February 2015: “2 Thais Who Staged Play Found Guilty of Insulting Monarchy

Bloomberg, 23 February 2015: “Thai Court Sentences Two for Play Deemed Insulting to Monarchy

Reuters, 23 February 2015: “Thailand jails two students for insulting monarchy in college play” ( video report by Reuters is here)

BBC, 23 February 2015: “Thai pair jailed for insulting monarchy in student play

Prachatai, 23 February 2015: “Court sentences theater activists to 5 years in jail for lese majeste

Khaosod, 23 February 2015: “Theater Activists Jailed Over Satirical Play About Monarchy

South China Morning Post, 5 January 2015: “Thailand theatre troupe jailed, forced to flee for ‘insulting’ royals with performance

Prachatai, 29 December 2014: “Wolf Bride theatre activists plead guilty to lese majeste charges

Bangkok Post, 27 October 2014: “Lese majeste charge out of context

Khaosod, 27 October 2014: “Activists Charged With Lese Majeste After 70-Day Detention

Prachatai, 24 October 2014: “Prosecutors file lèse majesté charges against Wolf Bride theatre activists”

Prachatai, 26 September 2014: “Wolf Bride actor denied bail for fifth time

Bangkok Post, 24 September 2014: “Stage artists feel fettered by censorship

The Nation, 17 August 2014: “Bail denied for lese majeste suspect

Prachatai, 15 August 2014: “Another activist charged with lèse majesté over political play

Prachatai, 15 August 2014: “Khon Kaen student activist charged with lèse majesté for political stage play

 

14 responses

9 09 2014
No bail on lese majeste | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Patiwat Saraiyaem and Pornthip Munkong have been jailed since mid-August. […]

9 09 2014
No bail on lese majeste | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Patiwat Saraiyaem and Pornthip Munkong have been jailed since mid-August. […]

25 09 2014
Opposing junta repression and censorship | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] “The Song of Commoners,” they are calling “for the release of two theatre artists Patiwat Saraiyaem and Pornthip Munkong” accused of lese majeste and for the release of other political […]

25 09 2014
Opposing junta repression and censorship | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] arts. Using “The Song of Commoners,” they are calling “for the release of two theatre artists Patiwat Saraiyaem and Pornthip Munkong” accused of lese majeste and for the release of other political […]

16 10 2014
Jaran charged with lese majeste | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] others caught in this particular lese majeste dragnet are Patiwat Saraiyaem and Pornthip […]

24 10 2014
Wolf Bride lese majeste charges | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] being held without bail. It is reported that “Phawinee Chumsri, lawyer representing Patiwat S. and Pornthip M., told Prachatai that the public prosecutor on Friday filed lese majeste charges […]

29 12 2014
Wolf Bride detainees plead guilty | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] reports that both Pornthip Munkhong and Patiwat Saraiyaem have entered guilty please on lese majeste charges they faced for their role in the play The Wolf […]

23 02 2015
More jailed for lese majeste | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Patiwat Saraiyaem, a 23 year-old student in Khon Kaen, and Porntip Mankong, a theater activist aged 26, were given sentences of two years and six months in prison for their roles in “The Wolf Bride,” a play about a fictional kingdom that royalist judges considered “insulted” the non-fictional monarchy. Their sentences were reduced from 5 years because of the guilty pleas. […]

23 02 2015
More jailed for lese majeste | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Patiwat Saraiyaem, a 23 year-old student in Khon Kaen, and Pornthip Mankong, a theater activist aged 26, were given sentences of two years and six months in prison for their roles in “The Wolf Bride,” a play about a fictional kingdom that royalist judges considered “insulted” the non-fictional monarchy. Their sentences were reduced from 5 years because of the guilty pleas. […]

24 02 2015
World news on Wolf Bride sentencing | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] of the international and national press reports on the sentencing of Patiwat Saraiyaem, a 23 year-old student in Khon Kaen, and Pornthip Mankong, a theater activist aged 26, is […]

24 02 2015
World news on Wolf Bride sentencing | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] of the international and national press reports on the sentencing of Patiwat Saraiyaem, a 23 year-old student in Khon Kaen, and Pornthip Mankong, a theater activist aged 26, is […]

26 02 2015
World News on Wolf Bride Sentencing »

[…] of the international and national press reports on the sentencing of Patiwat Saraiyaem, a 23 year-old student in Khon Kaen, and Pornthip Mankong, a theater activist aged 26, is […]

30 06 2015
Rose on the lawless country with the king as head of state | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Patiwat Saraiyaem, 23, and Pornthip Munkong, 26, involved in producing a play called “The Wolf Bride” about a fictional monarch and his adviser. It was performed at the prestigeous Thammasat University in 2013 to mark the anniversary of a successful 1973 anti-dictatorship uprising led by students. […]

30 06 2015
Rose on the lawless country with the king as head of state | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Patiwat Saraiyaem, 23, and Pornthip Munkong, 26, involved in producing a play called “The Wolf Bride” about a fictional monarch and his adviser. It was performed at the prestigeous Thammasat University in 2013 to mark the anniversary of a successful 1973 anti-dictatorship uprising led by students. […]