The attacks on 112 exiles

16 08 2022

The Japan Times has an op-ed on attacks on Pavin Chachavalpongpun in Kyoto and Aum Neko in Paris. It uses these cases to speak more broadly to attacks on dissidents overseas by several regimes.

On Pavin’s case:

Appearing at the Kyoto District Court in May to deliver a statement, Pavin, 51, who is living in exile in Japan, asked the defendant sitting in front of him, “I don’t even know you. I want you to tell me who asked you to attack me, and what was the purpose?”

The culprit, 43, is an unemployed Japanese man. According to the indictment, the man broke into Pavin’s apartment in the city of Kyoto in the early hours of July 8, 2019, and injured him and his partner with tear gas while they were asleep. The man pleaded guilty to the charges of intrusion and causing injuries and was sentenced to one year and eight months in prison on June 8 this year….

The defendant said his motive was that a “senior colleague had repeatedly asked” him to carry out the attack. He did not reveal the name or identity of his “senior colleague.”

On Aum;s case:

Aum when in Bangkok

An attack targeting a Thai national also took place in Paris in November 2019. Aum Neko, 28, was suddenly beaten by a group of men upon leaving a restaurant with an acquaintance. Three Czech nationals in their 20s were arrested and sentenced to prison terms in November 2021, but their roles and motives remain unclear.

Both Pavin and Aum face lese majeste charges.

Instilling fear into dissidents is meant to silence them. For Pavin and Aum, that seems unlikely.

 

 





Targeting Facebook on anti-monarchism

5 07 2021

About three weeks ago, it was reported that the regime’s No. 2 had ordered the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society to crack down on “fake news.” We assume he got his orders from higher up because the DES immediately ordered dozens of URLs closed within 48 hours. Many of the sites were not really fake news sites, but gambling or pornography sites. But the real target anti-regime and anti-monarchy sites.

Three weeks later and not much has happened apart from the regime getting ever more twitchy, again suggesting that there’s very high-level pressure on them.Facebook-Dislike-Button

As Thai PBS has reported, the regime has resumed its battle with Facebook, over the content it still deceptively claims is “fake news” when they mean sites that provide information about the monarchy:

These accounts – all operated from overseas – are registered to Pavin Chachavalpongpun, his discussion page Royalist Marketplace – Talad Luang, Andrew MacGregor Marshall, Suda Rangkupan, Pixel Helper, DK Ning, Aum Neko, and Kon Thai UK. Several of the account owners are wanted in Thailand for lese majeste.

Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn is flustered, saying: “Despite negotiations, Facebook has refused to follow orders to block eight accounts. I will bring legal action against Facebook in Thailand and its headquarters…”.

He demanded that Facebook “show responsibility towards Thailand’s issues and comply with the country’s regulations, given the fact that Facebook has many users in the Kingdom.”

There’s two things to note here. First, the minister demands that the whole of Facebook follow royalist norms and the regime’s illegitimate use of draconian laws. In other words, he seems to be going beyond the usual demand for geo-blocking of popular anti-monarchy  sites. Second, he seems to be threatening Facebook with exclusion from the Thai market, which would require that the regime descend further down the Chinese road and come up with state-approved, state monitored social media platforms.





Lese majeste rancor

20 11 2016

Khaosod reports on police being harassed by ultra-royalists on lese majeste. There’s already a lese majeste witch hunt under the military dictatorship, but this isn’t enough for mad monarchists. The natural result is doltish behavior and ridiculous tail-chasing.

The report is about the rabid royalists going to the police to bark about exiled activist Saran Chuichai or Aum Neko, who made an online video that was critical the dead king. The report states that ultra-royalists including the poisonous Ponnipa Supatnukul,

a television talk show host … complained in a meeting with Uthai [Lt. Col. Uthai Laosil, an officer at Technology Crime Suppression Division] on Friday that police should have acted faster to apprehend Saran before she managed to escape the country.

Ponnipa, who also uses anti-LGBT language to attack Aum, criticized the police:

“If [police] had prosecuted the case quickly and if they had not dawdled back then, Mr. Saran [sic] would not have had an opportunity to flee overseas and commit actions that hurt the hearts of Thai people to this day,” Ponnipa said.

The rancorous royalist demanded action, threatening “to take legal action against police if they failed to bring Saran back to Thailand.”

As we understand it, the only way that a return would occur is if Thai authorities were to act illegally. The mad monarchists would probably cheer for law and human rights means nothing to them when it comes to the monarchy and anti-democracy.

The loathsome Ponnipa had filed a lese majeste charge against Aum back in 2013. That accusation was a cause for Aum’s flight following the 2014 military coup.

The response of the police to Ponnipa’s threat was to get a court to issue a lese majeste arrest warrant for Aum. Nothing is likely to happen as the French Republic would be unlikely to accede to any extradition request from a military dictatorship administering feudal laws.





A refuge from the feudal law

28 06 2015

Prachatai reports that France has granted political refugee status to three Thai exiles, each of who is charged under the lese majeste law.

Saran Chuichai or Aum Neko, Jaran Ditapichai and Somsak Jeamteerasakul are each reported to have been granted this status since their arrival in France as political exiles.

This revelation is likely to anger The Dictator and other feudal-minded junta members, although they will have already known this.





A year under the military boot III

26 05 2015

PPT lists below some of the articles and posts that reflect on the past year:

Thai mothers remember misery of coup

Life for the Thai Exiles: Aum Neko in France

Thailand’s Prime Minister: I’m not meddling with election timetable (includes a CNN interview with The Dictator)

Thailand’s Shame

Thailand election won’t solve the political crisis

Thailand: Deepening Repression One Year After Coup

A Year After Thai Coup, Stability Trumps Growth for Business

Stigma haunts relatives of Thais jailed under royal insult law

Thailand’s Stunted Transition

Why We Don’t Have Any Thailand Holdings

Thailand one year later: Stable but stuck?

One year of Thai military rule passes with a whisper (PPT: well, not quite, given the almost 50 protesters arrested)

Public Statement by TLHR On the first anniversary of the coup in Thailand

 





Brave students defy junta

20 11 2014

There are several stories regarding the Khon Kaen University students who recently defied The Dictator, General Prayuth Chan-ocha.

Prachatai has an interview with the students, seen in the picture from that report, showing the students in a police pickup and wearing “We don’t want the coup” T-shirts.

No coupAccording to the report, the military tried to pressure the students to admit “guilt.” The military also wanted them to renounce “any further anti-coup activity.” Bravely, the students refused, even after the “military … brought their parents in to pressure the students and threatened that if they do not sign the document, they will be dismissed from the university and officially charged.”

Asked why they protested, one student responded:

We did it because we’re frustrated. Before we had the freedom to hold an activity anywhere we wanted. But today it’s very difficult to make any move. We must tell the dictator that at least here there are some people who don’t want that. We want to show to the world that there are many more people who disapprove of the coup, but they may not dare enough to show up.

Other brave students have been arrested. At least two more student activists, this time in Bangkok, were arrested for attempting to organise a mass screening of the latest Hunger Games movie. ” A movie-goer was also arrested for using the three-finger salute in the lobby of a cinema. This was despite the cinema canceling the showing.

In Paris, there was another protest at a screening of the film, featuring Aum Neko, accused of lese majeste, who fled Thailand after the coup.

The student’s protests appear to have prompted, or at least coincided with, a 102-name protest about martial law from prominent academics and activists. This group stated:

”Martial law must be immediately lifted to pave the way for the right and freedom to address problems affecting people…”. They also said using martial law to prosecute students and the public was ”unacceptable”.

The report listed some of the signatories:

Prominent figures signing the statement were economist Dejrat Sukkhamnerd of Kasetsart University, Political scientist Prajak Kongkirati, of Thammasat University, Prathapjit Neelapaijit of Mahidol University, political scientist Puangthong Pawakaphan of Chulalongkorn University,  Jacquechai Chomthongd of Oxfam Thailand and a Free-Trade Agreement Watch coordinator, and veteran writer Suchat Sawadsri.





More comical military lies

30 08 2014

We assume that having to be in exile is not a joke. But the military dictatorship’s recent call for political opponents to return to Thailand for a “fair trial” is comical.

Khaosod reports that the junta’s spokesperson Colonel Winthai Suvaree as stating: “We want them to come back. We never shut the door to them. We never prohibit them [from coming back]…”. He went on to claim that The Dictator Prayuth Chan-ocha “has personally invited all dissidents to return to Thailand, with promises to treat them fairly.”

To be honest, PPT does not believe that Prayuth understands “fairness.” This is snipped from Wikipedia [click on the image for a larger view]:Fairness

The record of the military and the judiciary is of remarkable double standards that could not be further from any notion of fairness. Winthai, and presumably The Dictator too, was responding to a comment by a lawyer numerous opposition activists and lese majeste defendants. The record on lese majeste is clear: even laws, international conventions and constitutional provisions are routinely ignored in seeking to punish the accused.

Those who have fled the countryinclude “former Minister of Interior Affairs Charupong Ruangsuwan, Redshirt leader and former Deputy House Speaker Apiwan  Wiriyachai, and historian and critic of the Thai monarchy Somsak Jiamteerasakul.”

Winthai added to the lies by disingenuously stating:

“The case is the duty of the police to decide how to proceed. Everything is in accordance with the law. The NCPO will merely ask for cooperation [from Mr. Apiwan] to come back and contest the charge in Thailand,” Col. Winthai said. “Let me stress that we have no policy of hunting down individuals who are taking exile abroad.”

The media has quoted several officials who claim to be hunting down those overseas and seeking extradition. Think of Aum Neko as just one example. Winthai lied further – has he no shame? – “People who are contesting their charges in the country, those that don’t run away, get their bail release.” This is clearly, unequivocally a blatant untruth. Khaosod gives an example:

Contrary to Col. Winthai’s claim, a Thai criminal court recently denied a bail release for two activists charged with lese majeste for their role in a play that was performed in October last year. Police say the theater performance was offensive to the Thai Royal Family.

The two activists are currently imprisoned as they await their trial. If found guilty, they could face up to 15 years in jail.

What is the purpose of continually and intentionally making false statements? After all, everyone know that these are lies. We at PPT can only assume that the military is so accustomed to false claims and impunity that they can no longer detect the truth.





Updated: Somyot the lese majeste warrior

27 08 2014

As PPT has noted several times, Police General Somyos Pumpanmuang has become the military dictatorship’s bully boy on lese majeste.The sycophantic nature of the military dictatorship was recently confirmed when butt polisher Somyos Pumpanmuang was chosen “unanimously” by the National Police Policy Commission to be the new national police chief. The Dictator was in charge of the selection.

brassoNow that Brasso Man is atop the police pole, he is hunting down the ones he thinks are threats to the royalist junta and its palce-backed regime. Khaosod reports that the top cop “has renewed an effort to locate and prosecute the fugitive transgender activist who routinely criticises the monarchy on social media.” Ultra-royalist Somyos says he “has instructed police officers to collect evidence about social media posts made by the activist, Saran Chuichai, aka Aum Neko, for legal prosecution.”Aum-Neko-300x180

The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology is instructed to “help determine the location of Ms. Saran, who has not been seen in public since the military staged the coup 22 May. Aum Neko is widely believed to have left Thailand, so the ordered tracking is probably no more than Somyos again self-promoting, hoping that a drop of junta saliva will anoint him.

Aum has reportedly “continued to post comments on social media that sharply criticise the Royal Thai Family [sic].” We guess they mean the royal family.

PPT’s distaste of junta posterior polishers is as venomous as our dislike for the dolts who lavish praise on the unworthy royals. However, Somyos gets and extra dose of disdain for his nastiness and his blatant corruption as a serving officer with numerous business interests who uses police power to support his chosen business partners. We attach two PDFs (here and here) that show his connection with a company with a reputation for thuggery and financial tomfoolery.

Update: A reader sent us another link [opens a 12-page PDF] to Somyos and his corporate link to the gold company that has police crack farmers’ heads.

 





Don’t forget the lese majeste prisoners

23 03 2014

112.jpgreport at he Bangkok Post: of a timely gathering of relatives and students in support of lese majeste prisoners has “called on the public to pay attention to the plight of people convicted of violating lese majeste laws.”

Some 50 activists as well as relatives of lese majeste prisoner Somyos Prueksakasemsuk “gathered at the Bangkok Remand Prison where they paid a visit to Somyot, the former editor of the Voice of Thaksin magazine.”

As well as supporting lese majeste prisoners and drawing attention to the repressive lese majeste law, the activists campaign for the release of Somyos who was sentenced to 11 years in prison and is still appealing his conviction.

Aum Neko, who is about to front police on a politically-inspired summons on lese majeste attended the protest, highlighting case like Somyos, Darunee Charncheonsilapakul, serving 15 years and in prison since 2008, and the death in jail of lese majeste prisoner Ampol Tangnopakul.





Lese majeste repression continues

20 03 2014

In the midst of political crisis, lese majeste continues to be used to threaten and repress.

Aum Neko is the nickname of a young transgender Arts student at Thammasat University named Saran Chuchai. She was accused of lese majeste in a complaint lodged with police on 16 September 2013.

Aum has been and activist on several fronts at her university.

The lese majeste complaint made was made by Ponnipa [sometimes rendered as Porntipa] Supatnukul, a host of a talk show called “Best of Your Life” which is broadcast on a satellite TV channel. At the time, her complaint related to events that took place three months earlier.

Aum was allegedly interviewed for the talk show, and the host claims that Aum “shocked everyone” by “talking outside the topic” and “insulting the higher institution…”. She means the monarchy. The show was never broadcast, however footage of the interview went to the police.

Ponnipa says she decided to pursue legal action because she was incensed by what she claimed was Aum’s continued defamation of the monarchy.

Khaosod now reports that a warrant has been issued for Aum under Article 112 of the Thai Criminal Code.

Police say they have summoned Aum to hear the charge on 24 March after they “studied evidence” and “to proceed with the prosecution.”

Aum reportedly “said she is willing to report to the police on 24 March, but she is still waiting for the police to choose a venue for the meeting.” She does not yet have a lawyer.

She also faces “an exhaustive investigation conducted by Thammasat University administration” which is seeking to expel her for provocative actions that the conservative and royalist administration finds confronting and challenging.








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