Apiwan Wiriyachai

ApiwanApiwan Wiriyachai was charged lese majeste by the military dictatorship as part of its lese majeste regime that began with the 22 May 2014 military coup.

Puea Thai Party executive and red-shirt co-leader Apiwan Wiriyachai is alleged to have committed a lese majeste offense at a red shirt rally. The allegation is that the speech took place on 29 January 2011. Apiwan is claimed to have talked “about people who ‘ordered the killing’ and ‘ordered the shooting’ in the military crackdown on red-shirt protesters in 2010.” His speech was at a red-shirt rally on Puek Tian beach in Phetchaburi province.

Yes, that is more than three years before he was charged. Certainly, the charge, lodged on 26 June 2014 indicates that the military regime is intent on destroying the leadership of the UDD and “uprooting” the “Thaksin regime.” Lese majeste charges are one element of that repression.

The charge was issued following a complaint that was filed with Chana Songkhram police.

Apiwan was one of the first group of 155 people “summoned” by the military dictatorship on the day following its coup.

A later report noted that Apiwan “failed to report to police on Thursday [24 July] to answer a charge of lese majeste.” Not only that, he “did not contact the police to arrange for his surrender.” As a result, a warrant has been issued.

Apiwan fled Thailand and was later said to be in the Philippines, and reportedly ill. Sadly, he passed away in the Philippines on 7 October 2014.

Media accounts of Apiwan’s case:

Khaosod, 7 October 2014: “Veteran Pro-Thaksin Politician Dies In Exile

Bangkok Post, 30 August 2014: “He’s hiding in the Philippines

Bangkok Post, 26 August 2014: “Report: Apiwan ill in Philippines

Bangkok Post, 31 July 2014: “Apiwan said to have fled abroad

Bangkok Post, 24 July 2014: “Apiwan snubs lese majeste charge

Khaosod, 24 July 2014: “Former Deputy House Speaker Faces Lese Majeste Charge

Prachatai, 24 July 2014: “Ex-Pheu Thai MP charged with lese majeste

Bangkok Post, 23 July 2014: “Ex-Pheu Thai MP faces lese majeste

 

6 responses

25 09 2014
Paid to lie for the junta and monarchy | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] claim that all are old cases is false – as just one example, see Apiwan Wiriyachai’s case. The idea that any lese majeste victim gets a fair trial would be laughable if it wasn’t such […]

9 10 2014
Death and after II | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] reports that the Deputy Dictator “urged that the funeral rites of former Pheu Thai MP Col Apiwan Wiriyachai be kept free of politics.” Apiwan died in exile, essentially forced out of the country by the […]

9 10 2014
Death and after II | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Nation reports that the Deputy Dictator “urged that the funeral rites of former Pheu Thai MP Col Apiwan Wiriyachai be kept free of politics.” Apiwan died in exile, essentially forced out of the country by the […]

12 10 2014
Death and after III | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] funerals. The Deputy Dictator feared that the funeral of former Puea Thai MP and red shirt leader Apiwan Wiriyachai might become an opportunity for expressions of resistance to the royalist military […]

19 10 2014
Apiwan’s funeral | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] was a former leader of the Puea Thai Party and of the red shirts. The military dictatorship had accused him of lese majeste. They feared his funeral as a possible stage for a red shirt […]

19 10 2014
Apiwan’s funeral | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] was a former leader of the Puea Thai Party and of the red shirts. The military dictatorship had accused him of lese majeste. They feared his funeral as a possible stage for a red shirt […]