Release Pai V

21 01 2017

As we noted in our last post, a secret court session refused Jatuphat Boonpattaraksa (Pai) bail on trumped up lese majeste charges that he somehow “defamed” the new king by reposting a BBC story that mentioned some aspects of Vajiralongkorn’s dubious past. Thousands of others did the same “sharing.”

Khaosod reports that Pai was incensed by this pseudo-legal and opaque process and “will no longer ask the court to free him on bail.”

Secret hearings are the stuff of this military dictatorship and are more or less standard operating procedure for this pseudo-judicial system when dealing with lese majeste cases, especially when those charged are anti-military activists.

Pai’s father, also one of his lawyers, stated: “We will no longer appeal against his ongoing custody. We will not submit any more bail request. Whatever they want to do, they’re free to do it…. He [Pai] believes that it’s no use.”

The report adds that Pai was “incensed when he learned the judges decided to deliberate on his bail request in a secret proceeding reporters and rights observers were not allowed to attend. After his protest was overruled by the court, Jatupat ordered all his lawyers, except Viboon [his dad], to leave the courtroom in symbolic protest.”

He did this because he rightly “believed that the procedure was illegitimate, and he didn’t want the lawyers to take part in it…”.

The military dictatorship is using a strategy that it thinks effective in silencing dissent. It has singled out this student as an “example” to other dissidents. The threat is: Watch out! If you dissent, you too will be dragged into procedures that have you in jail for years.

There’s nothing legal about this repressive tactic. It is blunt junta manipulation of the law and judiciary to ensure its political domination.





Lese majeste mistreatment

7 01 2017

The Bangkok Post reports that the Supreme Court has upheld the Appeals Court’s refusal of bail for anti-junta activist and lese majeste suspect Jatuphat Boonpattaraksa or Pai Daodin.

We must emphasize that Jatuphat’s “crime” is sharing, on Facebook, a BBC Thai story on the checkered past of the king following his accession. Thousands of others also shared this story but, as far as we know, the anti-junta activist is the only one charged.

Arrested on 3 December 2016, Jatuphat was initially granted bail by the Khon Kaen provincial court but this was revoked on 22 December for social media posts that police and court alleged “could be construed as an attempt to challenge state power and show disrespect for the rule of law.”

As we have said previously, there is no rule of law in Thailand, just the rule of dictators.

His lawyers state that “a new bail request would be filed with the provincial court, probably with a larger surety.”

Meanwhile, Prachatai has had two recent reports on Jatuphat’s case, alleging mistreatment. The first report is somewhat unclear, but suggests that the court has made decisions on his case without him being present.

The second report states that his “fourth custody hearing” was “held in secret and only Jatuphat’s lawyers and parents were allowed to enter the courtroom.” Equally disturbing is the report that Jatuphat has been subjected to repeated “rectal searches,” allegedly a “standard” procedure to prevent the transport of drugs. Jatuphat “protests that he should not be subjected to this treatment since he is a political suspect, not a drug suspect, staff still persist.”

Lese majeste suspects are repeatedly treated in ways that can amount to a form of torment and torture.





Bail denied in lese majeste case

29 12 2016

“Protecting” King Vajiralongkorn is now a major task for the military dictatorship. It believes that attacking young activists kills two birds with one stone, “protecting” the new king from his past and policing and disciplining anti-junta activists.

Jatuphat Boonpattaraksa is charged with sharing a BBC Thai report on the new king on his Facebook page. Thousands of others shared the same report, but the only case of a lese majeste case seems to be against Jatuphat. This is probably because he is a political activist. As Prachatai puts it, he “is a key member of the New Democracy Movement (NDM) anti-junta activist group. He currently faces several charges for organising and participating in anti-junta activities.”jatuphat

Jatuphat, or Pai, was first arrested on 3 December 2016, just two days after the king’s accession. He was initially granted bail, but this was withdrawn “on 22 December after he posted a satirical message mocking authorities on his Facebook account.” Mocking the thugs is almost as dangerous as lese majeste, and his bail was removed because he failed to show “due respect” for the military thugs, kangaroo courts and Keystone Cops.

His appeal for a renewal of bail was rejected on 27 December 2016 by “an appeal court in Khon Kaen Province…. The court reasoned that Jatuphat does not seem to respect the law or state authorities, adding that he could intervene with evidence if released.”

The Bangkok Post reports that the appeals court “upheld the lower court’s judgement, saying the 25-year-old anti-junta activist and law student had shown his behaviour in social media since he was granted bail could be construed as an attempt to challenge state power and to show disrespect for the rule of law. It was likely Mr Jatupat would continue to act that way.”

The notion that there is anything about “rule of law” associated with Thailand’s judiciary, most especially in lese majeste cases, is quite bizarre. In fact, these courts continue the practice of treating all cases that “challenge state power” as “special,” making “law” up as they go along, to “protect” state power.





Lese majeste and murder II

22 12 2016

Yesterday we noted that while murderers received bail, lese majeste suspects were regularly refused bail.

Our post was prompted by the case of student activist Jatuphat Boonpattaraksa who was due back in court today to hear a  police request to revoke his bail on charges of lese majeste. He’s accused of sharing a BBC Thai news article on the creepy and nasty King Vajiralongkorn.

As expected, his bail was revoked. Prachatai reports that a secret hearing of the provincial court revoked bail, “ruling that the suspect insulted the authorities in a Facebook post.” It was “stated that after being released, Jatuphat post an allegedly satirical message against the authorities on his Facebook account.”

He is now held at the Khon Kaen Central Prison and his lawyer will soon submit another bail request.





AHRC urgent appeal for Jatuphat Boonpattaraksa

13 12 2016

The Asian Human Rights Commission has issued an urgent appeal for Jatuphat Boonpattaraksa, arrested on numerous charges, most recently lese majeste. We reproduce it here and it may be accessed at the AHRC website:

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-152-2016

12 December 2016

———————————————————————
THAILAND: Young activist charged with lèse majesté offense after sharing news article

ISSUES: Freedom of expression; administration of justice; rule of law
———————————————————————

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that the military in Khon Kaen province, northeastern Thailand, filed a new legal action against Mr. Jatupat Boonpattaraksa, a student at Khon Kaen University and a key member of the pro-democracy groups Dao Din and New Democracy Movement (NDM). Lt Gen Phitakphon Chusri accused him of allegedly defaming the Thai monarch under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, and imparting false information on the Internet under the Computer Crime Act, after he shared a BBC Thai article “Profile: Thailand’s new King Vajiralongkorn” with an excerpt. However, he did not comment on the article.

CASE NARRATIVE: (Based on documentation by Thai Lawyers for Human Rights)

Around 8 a.m. on 3 December 2016, plainclothes police from the Khon Kaen Provincial Police Station presented an arrest warrant issued by the Khon Kaen Court to 25-year-old Mr. Jatupat Boonpattaraksa, near Prong Chang Temple, Kaeng Khro District, Chaiyaphum province. The warrant, dated 2 December 2016, states that Mr. Jatupat is charged under Article 112 of the Thai Criminal Code, or lèse majesté offence, by Lt Gen Phitakphon Chusri, Deputy Chief of the Operations Directorate at the 33rd Military Circle in Khon Kaen, Northeastern Thailand, after he allegedly shared a BBC Thai news article, “Profile: Thailand’s new King Vajiralongkorn,” as well as quoted some content of the news on Facebook.

While the authorities presented the warrant, Mr. Jatupat was participating in the Dharma Yatra walk to Lam Patao bank, an annual event organized by a famous monk Phra Phaisal Visalo at Sukato Temple in Chaiyaphum province. Mr. Jatupat, a well-known activist of the Dao Din Group based in the northeast and member of the NDM, was released on bail after 18 days in detention, with 13 days under hunger strike, in two different cases related to his organizing a peaceful assembly in August. He is now facing another political assembly charge for organizing a coup commemoration event on 22 May 2015 at the Khon Kaen Democracy Monument. The officials took Mr. Jatupat to the Kaeng Khro Provincial Police Station to file an arrest record. News reports state that he was later taken to the Khon Kaen Provincial Police Station. However, as of 2.30 pm, Mr. Jatupat’s exact whereabouts were unclear and no one could contact him.

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) had arranged for a network lawyer to offer Mr. Jatupat legal assistance and wait for him at the Khon Kaen Police Station. However, the police seized the lawyer’s cell phone and drove him around in a pickup car, saying that they would take him to Mr. Jatupat. Instead, they took him around the place until finally they arrived at the Police Training Center Region 4, Khon Kaen. His cell phone was returned once he got out of the car. News reports note further that later Mr. Jatupat was brought to the said Training Center for investigation. Pol Col Wisate Phakdeewut, the chief inquiry officer, informed him of his charges under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, which states that anyone who “defames, insults or threatens the King, the Queen, the HeirApparent or the Regent” shall be punishable by a maximum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment, and under the Computer Crime Act, for imparting false information on the Internet. Mr. Jatupat denied all charges.

Around 3:30 pm, the police explained that Mr. Jatupat would be taken and detained for investigation at the Nam Phong Police Station, Nam Phong District in Khon Kaen, not at the Khon Kaen Police Station. The reason given was that this particular case concerns national security, and was a sensitive case that dealt with other parties. It may pose a great threat to the public safety and order if he is detained at the Khon Kaen Station. Since the police finished the investigation after the usual opening hours (4:30 pm), Mr. Jatupat’s lawyer could not apply for bail. Thus, Mr. Jatupat was detained overnight at the Nam Phong Police Station.

On 4 December 2016, the following morning, the officials requested a pre-trial detention at the Khon Kaen Court, while Mr. Jatupat’s lawyer opposed that request. The Court indicated that it would skip the due process of investigation, since it would grant bail if applied. Mr. Jatupat’s lawyer, therefore, applied for bail with a 400,000 Baht surety (approx. 11,300 USD) which was granted by the Court. Mr. Jatupat was later released on unconditional bail at noon.

On 6 December 2016, Mr. Jatupat went to the Khon Kaen Police Station again and filed a complaint letter to the police because the police did not mention his cell phone in the memo of arrest. In fact, his cell phone was seized by the police since December 3.

The BBC Thai news article shared by Mr. Jatupat collected data on the new King Vajiralongkorn, and was released on 1 December 2016 to mark the royal succession. It has received a lot of public attention, with 27,000 likes and 2,600 shares on Facebook to date (2,800 shares before Mr. Jatupat’s arrest). Mr. Jatupat had shared the said article on the morning of 2 December 2016, along with an excerpt; however, he did not publish personal comments on the article.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Mr. Jatupat Boonpattaraksa is facing four different lawsuits, and is an example of a Thai pro-democracy activist who has opposed the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) administration and its staging of the coup on 22 May 2014.

For more information, please visit http://www.tlhr2014.com/th/ or follow these links;

1. http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAU-025-2016
2. http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAU-019-2016/
3. http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-099-2016

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write letters to the authorities below, asking them to to drop all charges against and prosecutions of Mr. Jatupat Boonpattaraksa, since his alleged acts were nothing more than the exercise of freedom of expression and were consistent with the Thai Constitution.

Please note that the Asian Human Rights Commission is writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and seeking his urgent intervention into this matter.

To send an appeal letter, visit this page or the AHRC website.





Another lese majeste case under new king

8 12 2016

The neo-feudal regime is being set in place. Following the recent lese majeste case against Neo-Democracy/New Democracy Movement activist Jatuphat Boonpattaraksa, there has been the junta-palace agitation over the BBC.

Now, as reported at Prachatai, the military dictatorship “has threatened a prominent anti-junta activist from the New Democracy Movement (NDM) with the lèse majesté law over her Facebook post.”

Chanoknan Ruamsap states that “the military contacted her family while she is in Brazil.” Apparently the military’s goons are policing a post on the monarchy that they determine may constitute lese majeste.

Her family warns her that she “might be detained at the Airport” when she returns to Feudal Thailand.

It seems that on “3 December, she shared on Facebook the biography of King Vajiralongkorn, Rama X, published by the BBC Thai and on 5 December she shared another article published by the Telegraph about King Rama X.”

The military goons are using lese majeste to mop up student activists and to ensure that the new king’s dastardly and violent history can be erased. We don’t doubt that the “new” palace is in cahoots with the fascist goons on this.

Chanoknan already faces a trial at a military court of Bangkok on 23 December on a “charge of defying the Thai junta’s ban on political gatherings.”

neofeudalism





BBC on BBC Thai lese majeste allegations

8 12 2016

The junta’s goons have been chasing the BBC’s office in Bangkok on allegations that its stories on the new king constitute lese majeste. No formal charges have been laid as yet.

BBC News reports that The Dictator has declared that the “BBC could be prosecuted in Thailand if a profile it published of the new king is found in breach of lese majeste laws…”.

Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha states: “As they have an office in Thailand and Thai reporters work there they must be prosecuted when they violate Thai law…”. In fact, being “Thai” has nothing to do with the law, but we can’t expect legal dunces like Prayuth to understand the draconian and feudal law.

Prayuth is angry that the BBC had reports that were accurate, factual and rather meek on the new king’s dark past.

A BBC spokesperson stated:

BBC Thai was established to bring impartial, independent and accurate news to a country where the media faces restrictions, and we are confident that this article adheres to the BBC’s editorial principles.

The report reveals details about the “investigation”:

It began after complaints about the article – which was published in the UK and has since been blocked online in Thailand – by royalists who accuse the BBC of defaming the king.

We are in no doubt that this is the future of Thailand under the new king and the royalist military junta. That future is feudal, repressive and regressive.

We leave in the BBC’s links in the story:

Profile: Thailand’s new king

Thai crown prince proclaimed new king

Thailand’s lese majeste laws explained