Framing activists

1 04 2021

AP reports that prosecutors have “indicted five pro-democracy activists on Wednesday on changes of attempting to harm the queen during a street demonstration last October in which some protesters shouted slogans critical of the monarchy.”

The five stand “accused of violating Section 110 of the Criminal Code, which says that whoever attempts an act of violence against the queen or the royal heir faces 16-20 years’ imprisonment.” This is another law “protecting” the monarchy, and this is, as far as we know, its first use in recent years.

As AP points out, there was no violence and “Queen Suthida … was not in any evident danger in the incident, which occurred when a limousine carrying the queen and the king’s son, Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti, passed through a small crowd of protesters mixed with supporters of the royal family.”

In other words, the protesters may have been set up and they are certainly being framed.

They include Akechai Hongkangwarn and Bunkueanun Paothong. It is reported that all “five deny any wrongdoing. After their indictment, they were released on bail of 200,000-300,000 baht ($6,400-$9,600) each.”





Updated: Another night, more protests

17 10 2020

Another afternoon and night of protests. The regime thought that shutting down the train system would prevent protesters massing again, They particularly concentrated on the Victory Monument, and closed it off, with not a protester in sight.

Meanwhile, thousands of protesters gathered at various spots around Bangkok and in Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen and several other provincial towns. Our pictures are clipped from social media.

Some of the signage was interesting.

Update: The Bangkok Post has some details on those arrested, still detained, and some bailed. Among those refused bail are former lese majeste victims Jatuphat Boonpattaraksa and Somyos Prueksakasemsuk. While there is some information on arrests, the regime is opaque, and Thai Enquirer says “security forces may have arrested up to 100 demonstrators for violating the government’s emergency decree…”. It also says that some demonstrators are “missing.”

In the royal car case, Bunkueanun Paothong has been bailed, while Akechai Hongkangwarn, another lese majeste victim, is awaiting bail.

Among those recently arrested are student leaders Panupong Jadnok (Rayong Mike) and protest leader Tattep Ruangprapaikijseree.





Updated: Car trouble II

16 10 2020

The Bangkok Post’s reporting on recent events in Bangkok has been abysmal. Worse, it has appeared as a mouthpiece for the regime. Compare its reporting with that at Khaosod English and understand how regime-grovelling and spineless the Bangkok Post has become. Are the owners running the show?

Which brings us to the almost unprecedented use of Article 110 of the Criminal Code. The Bangkok Post has almost nothing to say about this. Other outlets have already shown that the charges are a complete fabrication. Worse, the Post fails to read Article 110 accurately, downplaying it.

Francis. Clipped from TLHR

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, who are exceptionally busy just now, dealing with dozens of arrested activists, have a report on the royal  car debacle.

Both Bunkueanun (Francis) Paothong and Akechai Hongkangwarn have appeared before police, accused of “jointly attempted to commit an assault against the Queen’s liberty…”.

Both men are accused of having “incited demonstrators surrounding the procession to block the front of the procession and to crowd around the queen’s car.

Akechai. Clipped from TLHR

Akechai is accused of shouting, raising three fingers, and that he tried to push police officers.

The demonstrators are accused of causing the royal car to stop, allowing a group of demonstrators to shout insults accompanied by the three finger salute.

This “fit up” is necessary for the regime because it used the event as an excuse for a coup-like declaration of a state of emergency.

Such fabricated “criminal” cases were a defining feature of the military junta under Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha. As arrests continue, the whole judicial system is a tool of the regime.

Update: The Bangkok Post’s editorial today, after two nights of historic rallying in Bangkok, is about the zoo. Hopeless.





Updated: Car trouble I

16 10 2020

There are lots of rumors and plenty of speculation on why the royal cavalcade on October 14 ended up in among the pro-democracy protesters. That error/provocation/royal order/dirty trick (as it variously appears) led to the hurling of abuse at these leeches on the taxpayer.

We have no idea why the regime allowed this to happen, but the scapegoating has been furious. Khaosod reports that “[t]hree police commanders, including an officer who oversaw the crowd control division, were transferred to an inactive post pending investigation on Thursday after a royal motorcade encountered a group of protesters…”.

Police spokesman Maj Gen “Yingyot Thepchamnong said three senior officers are under investigation into why they did not clear the route.” Maj Gen Yingyot observed: “It didn’t go according to plans…. They might have forgotten or misunderstood the details of the plans.”

He was asked the obvious question: “why the royal motorcade was not diverted to a different route”? Maj Gen Yingyot “declined to answer…”.

The report notes that “… reporters at the scene confirmed that they saw no protesters standing in the way of the convoy or throwing any projectiles to the vehicles, which were protected by layers of police officers…”.

That observation becomes critical when it is learned that:

… two prominent pro-democracy activists on charges of using violence on … the Queen.

Ekachai Hongkangwan and Bunkueanun “Francis” Paothong were identified as the suspects in the most serious charge filed by the authorities so far since the waves of anti-government protests began in February. If guilty, they face life in prison.

Both of them were charged under Article 110 of the Criminal Code….

PPT has never heard of this article previously. It turns out that there are six articles on crimes against the monarchy. Article 110 states:

Whoever commits an act of violence against the Queen or Her liberty, the Heir-apparent or His liberty, or the Regent or his/her liberty, shall be punished with imprisonment for life or imprisonment of sixteen to twenty years. Whoever attempts to commit such offence shall be liable to the same punishment.

If such act is likely to endanger the life of the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent, the offender, shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life.

Akechai. Clipped from TLHR

Whoever makes preparations for committing an act of violence against the Queen or Her liberty, the Heir-apparent or His liberty, or the Regent or his/her liberty, or does any act to assist in keeping secret any intention to commit such offence, shall be punished with imprisonment of twelve to twenty years.

Akechai has a long history with the police for his opposition to military authoritarianism and has been attacked by “unknown” assailants several times. His arrest and detention, along with Bunkuenun, brings the known total of arrests over the last three days to more than 50.

Update: Thai Enquirer has more on the framing of Akechai and Bunkuenun. It states:

If you saw the videos, you will see that no one was blocking the royal motorcade; the protestors did not even know that they were coming….

If you watched live around 5.30 p.m. on Wednesday, you would have seen that Ekkachai Hongkangwan and Bunkueanun “Francis” Paothon were not doing anything to harm the Queen’s liberty at all….

Without warning, the police then charged at the protesters before people realized that it was the royal motorcade behind the police.

By that time, Ekkachai and Francis have already been pushed aside along with other protestors as the police formed a human chain to make way for the motorcade.

They were not near the car, and they were not throwing anything.

The opinion piece adds: “So to say that somehow the student protesters were responsible is laughable…“.








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