Thanakorn Siripaiboon was arrested at his house in Samut Prakan Province on 8 December 2015 by military and police officers who invoked Section 44 of the Interim Constitution which gives the Head of the National Council for Peace and Order absolute authority to maintain national security. He was accused and then charged with violating the lese majeste law by spreading “sarcastic” content via Facebook which allegedly mocked Thong Daeng, the royal dog.
The lese majeste charge is coupled with a computer crimes charge.
The 27-year-old factory worker was also charged under Article 116, the sedition law, for posting an infographic on the Rajabhakti park corruption scandal.
Prosecutors stated that on 6 December 2015 Thanakorn copied three images from Twitter and spread it on his Facebook page. The royalist bloodhounds said the images contained “sarcastic” content about the royal mongrel.
By 11 February 2016, Thanakorn remained in custody and appeared before a military court to again have his bail request denied. Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) report that, for a sixth time, the court extended Thanakorn’s pre-trial detention. The police say they haven’t finished their investigations and are gathering forensic computer evidence.
Thanakorn’s lawyer made several representations: that prolonging the detention of the suspect violates human rights since the accusations are disproportionate to his actions and the investigation of the case is taking too long; that he should not have been charged under Article 112 as the law is clear that no dead dog is covered by it; and that Thanakorn should not have been charged under Article 116, the sedition law, for posting an infographic on the Rajabhakti park corruption scandal.
As is expected in these increasingly bizarre lese majeste cases, the court dismissed all representations.
Later, on 1 March 2016, lawyer Anon Nampa made further representations regarding Article 112 being used to “protect” a royal’s dog. He pointed out that the charge is politically motivated and “excessive.”
It was reported that on 29 November 2016 a the provincial court decided that the case would be heard before one of Thailand’s ridiculous military courts. The “reasoning” involved a statement that the case involved “national security.” Any sensible person will see this as completely bizarre. It seems there is no sense at all in Thailand’s judiciary where the monarchy is involved.
Thanakorn was repeatedly refused bail over three months before being granted bail.
Media accounts of Thanakorn’s case:
Prachatai, 30 November 2016: “Man accused of mocking late King’s dog to be tried in military court”
Prachatai, 1 March 2016: “Lawyer calls for justice for man mocking King’s dog”
Prachatai, 12 February 2016: “Bail denied to man mocking the King’s dog”
Prachatai, 28 December 2015: “Military court denies bail to suspect accused of defaming the King’s dog”
Prachatai, 14 December 2015: “Man accused of lèse majesté for mocking King’s dog”
Prachatai, 14 December 2015: “Thailand: Junta critic feared ‘disappeared’”
Prachatai, 11 December 2015: “Prachatai sued by head of military remand facility”
Prachatai, 11 December 2015: “Junta to charge hundreds more with lèse majesté for pressing ‘like’ on Facebook”
Prachatai, 10 December 2015: “Junta presses lèse majesté, sedition charges over man liking Facebook pictures“