Tiwagorn Withiton

TiwagornTiwagorn Withiton was prosecuted for lese majeste, sedition, and computer crimes on 26 or 27 May 2021. He is accused of these crimes because, in 2020, he wore a t-shirt with “I lost faith in the monarchy” on it and posted pictures of this on Facebook. 

We are not 100% sure, but later reports appear to point to further posts on 11 and 18 February 2021.

When he initially did it, it caused a stir as Tiwagorn was not defaming or criticizing the monarchy, but declaring his own loss of faith.

This act initially confused the state’s monarchy police who tried to convince him to give up the t-shirt and not advertise his lost faith. When he refused, his mother was told lies by officials, and he was arrested, dragged from his home, and forcibly admitted to Khon Kaen’s Rajanagarindra Psychiatric Hospital. Officials seemed to believe that anyone who had no faith in the monarchy was mad. In fact, though, they were concerned to prevent a social media blitz of other announcing this loss of faith in the corrupt institution.

Lost faith

He was discharged following a public campaign demanding his release.

At the time, the police announced that they would submit the case to the Bureau of the Royal Household for their decision on further action. We have never seen that announced in any other case, even if it does seem to happen.

Tiwagorn was re-arrested on 4 March 2021 and taken to Tha Phra Police Station in Khon Kaen on the charges mentioned above charges under Article112, Section 116, and the Computer Crimes Act because of Facebook posts he made on 11 and 18 February 2021.”

On 26 May he was informed that the public prosecutor had decided to proceed with the case.

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights confirmed the Khon Kaen Provincial Court accepted a lese majeste case filed against Tiwagorn. He was granted bail using a security of 150,000 baht and his next hearing is scheduled on 3 August 2021.

Media accounts of Tiwagorn’s case:

Prachatai, 28 May 2021: “Court accepts lèse majesté case against ‘lost faith’ shirt wearer

Prachatai, 4 March 2021: “‘Lost Faith’ shirt wearer arrested again

Bangkok Post, 25 July 2020: “Tiwagorn out of hospital

Prachatai, 24 July 2020: “‘Lost Faith’ shirt wearer released from hospital after 15 days in detention

Bangkok Post, 18 July 2020: “Police deny charges laid against held activist

Reuters, 17 July 2020: “Thais protest over man hospitalised after wearing critical t-shirt

Prachatai, 17 July 2020: “Dissent and Madness in Thailand

Prachatai, 13 July 2020: “Facebook user behind viral ‘lost faith’ shirt committed to psychiatric hospital