TS or Thiensutham Suthijitseranee, also known as Yai Daengduad (ใหญ่ แดงเดือด)* was sentenced to 50 years in jail on 31 March 2015 for five Facebook posts considered lese majeste. He was given 10 years on each count, reduced by half for a guilty plea.
This is the most severe lese majeste sentence that PPT has recorded.
TS was arrested by the military on 18 December 2014 and charged with lese majeste by police on 25 December 2014. He is a businessman and university graduate, aged 58, and lives in Bangkok.
Allegedly using two Facebook accounts under the name Yai Daengduad, TS was accused of TS was accused of posts between July and November 2014 that criticized the sufficiency economy idea often attributed to the king, compared the Bhutanese monarchy to Thailand’s, linked the coup leadership to the king, alleged “an important wealthy family involved with illegal opium business,” and discussed the king’s health.
The military interrogated him at a Bangkok military base for five days before handing him over to police. His wife was detained for one night. The military states that, under interrogation, TS confessed and was forced to provide passwords to email and social network accounts. He was refused bail.
A secret military trial found him guilty. The court claimed the trial needed to be secret “because the case is related to the revered [sic.] Thai monarchy and might affect public morale…”. While the sentence is one of the harshest ever, the military court stated: “The defendant insulted the beloved and revered Thai monarchy…. The sentence handed down by the court is already light…”.
*While TS had requested his name be withheld from reports, this request was ignored, particularly in the Thai-language media. Amnesty International released his name in a statement on 31 March 2015.
Media accounts of TS’s case:
Prachatai, 18 June 2015: “Testimony from wife of lèse majesté prisoner serving longest Article 112 sentence in history”
Amnesty International, 31 March 2015: “Thailand: Preposterous 25-year prison sentence for criticizing royal family”
Prachatai, 31 March 2015: “Military court gives red shirt 25 years in jail for posting lese majeste on FB”
Prachatai, 25 December 2014: “Businessman arrested for posting lese majeste on FB“