Updated: Lese majeste cases updated

31 01 2015

Keeping up with the military dictatorship’s lese majeste cases, charges and jailings is challenging, and PPT has been trying to keep our ever-lengthening pages on cases and convictions up-to-date. We’ve made several changes to both pages in recent days.

A recent new case we added involves the arrest of Jamroen S., a 59 year-old civil servant accused of sending Facebook messages deemed lese majeste to another man, Pongsak S., also accused of lese majeste and computer crimes. The two are claimed to be a part of a “movement” aimed at bringing down the monarchy; there’s no evidence for this.

Police say Jamroen confessed. This is not unusual as the police force detainees to confess, telling them it means a lighter sentence, and suspects know that there is almost no chance of beating a lese majeste charge in the junta’s royalist Thailand.

Update: Two reports, one at Khaosod and another at the Bangkok Post, appear to refer to Jamroen’s case and use the name Chayo Anchaleewatchara, referring to an official who “allegedly used Facebook under the name UnchaUnyo to spread pictures and messages defaming the monarchy.” This is the name police allege Jamroen used (Uncha Unyo). If any reader can provide more information to PPT on the case, and clear up the confusion we’d be appreciative. Links to Thai-language media would assist too. Are there three cases (Pongsak, Jamnoen and Chayo) or just two?

Letting the dogs out

15 01 2015

Lese majeste cases continue to pile up under the military dictatorship. At the end of 2014, PPT canvassed some reasons for the frantic use of lese majeste. At the time we wrote of the monarchist military dictatorship’s lese majeste war.

In understanding why and why now, PPT has mentioned the necessity of preparing for succession. We also pointed to the need to shore up a political, economic and social order that the elite of rich royalists, stupendously wealthy Sino-Thai tycoons (including the king’s palace), and numerous hangers-on, like the military brass, think has been under threat. We have also mentioned succession house cleaning.

The spike in lese majeste cases is a result of the military dictatorship declaring lese majeste war. It has actively sought out cases, some of which are trivial in all respects, others being political vendettas, and it has begun sifting through old cases to prosecute them more stringently. And, the military dictatorship has encouraged a lese majeste frenzy amongst royalist, resulting in vigilantism. They have let the lese majeste dogs out.

This is seen in yet another attack on lese majeste victim Surachai Danwattananusorn, reported at Prachatai.SurachaiSurachai has been subject to repeated lese majeste allegations, charges and convictions since 2008.

In the past few days, the odious Major-Generl Rientong Nan-nah, the leader of the ultra-royalist vigilante group known as the Rubbish Collection Organization, has filed lese majeste complaint against Surachai. He has asked that the whole royalist book of charges be thrown at the now aged Surachai: he is accused “of producing online programs attacking and defaming the revered Thai monarchy breaking Article 112 and Article 14 of the Computer Crime Act for importing illegal contents to computer system.” He is also accused of rebellion and instigating rebellion.

More broadly, the military dictatorship yet again assert a broad anti-monarchy conspiracy and plot. According to Prachatai, the super snoop sleuths have “arrested a man for posting lese majeste on Facebook and said he was part of a movement to discredit the Thai monarchy on the Internet.”

The Technology Crime Suppression police arrested Jamroen S., “a middle age man accused of using the Facebook profile titled ‘Uncha Unyo’ to post and share [allegedly] lese majeste” materials.

Jamroen is alleged to have “admitted that he was the one who shared the alleged lese majeste contents online and cited that he had been doing it for a year.” The flatfoots assert that Jamroen “is connected to Pongsak S., another … suspect arrested earlier for posting lese majeste contents on … Facebook…”.

The police accuse Jamroen of compiling “lese majeste content before sending them to Pongsak through Facebook chat. Pongsak would then [allegedly] modified the content for publicizing on Facebook.”

The police believe these two are “part of a movement to undermining the monarchy on the Internet.” The plods are in search of others.

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