Students vs. the feudal regime I

24 10 2021

As Pravit Rojanaphruk points out in a Khaosod op-ed:

A year has passed since the students-led monarchy reform movement descended to the streets of Bangkok and beyond in large numbers. One year on, over 140 have been charged with lese majeste crimes, or defaming the monarchy. It’s punishable by a maximum imprisonment term of 15 years. Around half a dozen of them are currently … incarcerated….

Scores of others face hundreds of other charges. Some are in jail, others have bail, others await more charges.

While the media face censorship and with “self-censorship are the norm, combined with self-denial or silence to due fears of repercussions or political expediency,” the students continue to push for change.

Thai PBS reports that the Chulalongkorn-Thammasat football match procession will be different this year. The executive committee of Chulalongkorn University’s Student Union is unanimous in canceling the Phra Kieo coronet, Chulalongkorn University’s emblem. Why? They see “it to be representative of a feudal culture and a symbol of inequality.”

As the most royalist of universities, with many connections with the monarchy and royal family, the message is clear.

In his  article in support of other students who suffer feudal repression – lese majeste – Pravit calls on the media to support them:

The press could continue to watch and simply report about more prosecutions as more youths take the risks, are taken to jail, repeatedly denied bail, and refrain from questioning the anachronistic law . Such stance means the Thai press continue to be part of the problem for their lack of courage and commitment to greater press freedom.

It means the mostly young political activists feel the need to express themselves publicly on the streets or on social media, despite the risks as they regard the current situation as not just abnormal but unacceptable, untolerable and undemocratic…..

The least that journalists and media associations can do is to call out publicly and say we need to talk about the lese majeste law and something needs to be done about it. Even if they do not support the abolition of the law, there are crucial details worth reforming: the severity of the law which is disproportionate and more.

In fact, from our observation, the media has not been comprehensive in reporting of these arrests and charges and the reporting is so sporadic that we feel the regime and its supporters have cowed the mainstream media.

The students deserve better. Thailand deserves better.





Chonthicha’s 112 case

23 10 2021

PPT is late getting to this, supplied by a reader. The details remain the same, but days refer to dates past:

สวัสดีค่ะ เกดขออัพเดตสถานการณ์เรื่องคดีความมาตรา 112 ค่ะ (English below)

วันพรุ่งนี้ 15 ตุลาคม เวลา 9.00 ลูกเกดจะเดินทางไปสภ.ธัญบุรี เพื่อแสดงตัวและสอบถามรายละเอียดเกี่ยวกับคดีความที่เกิดขึ้นจากการขึ้นปราศรัยเกี่ยวกับการปฏิรูปสถาบันกษัตริย์ค่ะ และมีความเป็นไปได้ที่เกดจะถูกแจ้งข้อหาด้วยมาตรา 112 และนำตัวไปฝากขังค่ะ

ย้อนกลับไปเมื่อวันที่ 11 กันยายนที่ผ่านมา เกดและเพื่อนๆได้ร่วมกันจัดกิจกรรมที่หน้าศาลจังหวัดธัญบุรี เพื่อเรียกร้องสิทธิในการประกันตัวให้กับเพื่อนๆของพวกเราที่ถูกขังก่อนการพิจารณาคดีมาตรา 112

วันนั้น เกดได้ตัดสินใจขึ้นปราศรัยถึงความฝันในชีวิตคือ “การปฏิรูปสถาบันกษัตริย์” ถึงแม้จะรู้ดีว่าเรากำลังสู้อยู่กับอะไร และรู้ดีว่าการตัดสินใจในครั้งนี้ จะทำให้เราต้องถูกดำเนินคดีด้วยมาตรา 112 และอาจจะถูกฝากขังก่อนการพิจารณาคดีอย่างไม่ยุติธรรม แต่เราก็ได้ตัดสินใจอย่าง “กล้าหาญ” เพื่อที่จะแสดงความเป็นกัลยาณมิตรผู้หวังดีต่อประเทศชาติและสถาบันกษัตริย์ ด้วยหวังอย่างบริสุทธิ์หัวใจว่า ผู้มีอำนาจจะรับฟังเสียงเตือนระยะสุดท้ายนี้ ก่อนที่จะสายเกินไป

หลังจากกิจกรรมในครั้งนั้น ช่วงกลางเดือนกันยายนที่ผ่านมา ทาง สภ.ธัญบุรีได้มีการออกหมายเรียกดำเนินคดีในข้อหาพรก.ฉุกเฉินฯและอื่นๆ กับประชาชนทั้ง 9 คน โดยเกดทราบว่าตัวเองเป็นหนึ่งในผู้ต้องหา เนื่องจากเป็นรายชื่อแรกในหมายเรียกของคนอื่นๆ แต่อย่างไรก็ตาม เกดไม่เคยได้รับหมายเรียกใดๆจาก สภ.ธัญบุรี ทนายจึงได้พยายามสอบถามไปทางเจ้าหน้าที่ตำรวจ ซึ่งได้รับเพียงคำชี้แจงว่า ส่งหมายเรียกให้ทุกคนแล้ว ยกเว้นลูกเกด ชลธิชา แจ้งเร็ว ที่ไม่ได้ออกหมายเรียก

หลังจากนั้น ได้มีตำรวจติดต่อมาหาทนายเพื่อแจ้งว่า ได้มีการดำเนินคดี 112 กับลูกเกดด้วย และหากลูกเกดมาปราฎตัวที่โรงพัก ก็จะนำตัวไปฝากขังในคดี 112

และเช่นเคยค่ะ เกดก็ยังไม่เคยได้รับหมายเรียกในคดี 112 จาก สภ.ธัญบุรี

วันพรุ่งนี้ เวลา 9.00 เกดตัดสินใจที่จะเดินทางไปสภ.ธัญบุรี เพื่อสอบถามถึงคดีดังกล่าว และแสดงเจตจำนงค์ว่าเราไม่ได้มีพฤติการณ์ในการหลบหนี ดังจะเห็นได้ว่า ในช่วงที่ผ่านมา เกดก็ยังคงใช้ชีวิตตามปกติ ยังคงทำงานสอนหนังสือ ยังคงลงพื้นที่ช่วยเหลือพี่น้องประชาชนในจังหวัดปทุมธานีที่กำลังประสบปัญหาอุทกภัยเช่นเคยค่ะ

ที่สำคัญ เกดยังได้มาแสดงความบริสุทธิ์ใจถึงโรงพัก ถึงแม้ว่าเจ้าหน้าที่ตำรวจจะไม่เคยส่งหมายเรียกใดๆ ไม่ว่าจะเป็นในข้อหา พรก.ฉุกเฉินฯ หรือ มาตรา 112 ก็ตาม ดังนั้น สภ.ธัญบุรีจึงไม่มีเหตุผลชอบธรรมใดๆหลงเหลืออยู่แม้แต่น้อย ที่จะต้องนำตัวเกดไปฝากขังค่ะ

แต่หาก ในวันพรุ่งนี้ สภ.ธัญบุรี ยังคงดื้อดันที่จะนำตัวเกดไปฝากขัง ก็ขอให้สังคมไทยรู้ว่า สิ่งนี้ไม่ใช่กระบวนการยุติธรรม แต่มันคือคดีนโยบายที่มีจุดประสงค์เพื่อการกลั่นแกล้ง การปิดปากประชาชนที่ต้องการสื่อสารถึง “การปฏิรูปสถาบันกษัตริย์” พวกเขาต้องการทำลายความฝันของเรา

ดังนั้น เกดจึงไม่มีความจำเป็นที่จะต้องอ้อนวอนขอความเมตตาจากตำรวจและผู้พิพากษา เพื่อที่จะได้มาซึ่งสิทธิในการประกันตัวและสิทธิในการต่อสู้คดีอย่างเป็นธรรม

และหากผู้มีอำนาจในกระบวนการยุติธรรมสั่งขังเราในเรือนจำอีกครั้ง เกดก็จะเดินเข้าเรือนจำด้วยรอยยิ้มอย่างสง่างามและสมศักดิ์ศรี เพื่อตอกย้ำว่าไม่ว่าพวกคุณจะกลั่นแกล้งหรือพยายามทำทุกวิถีทางเพื่อเหยียบย่ำเราให้จมดิน แต่มันจะไม่มีทางเกิดขึ้น เกดไม่มีวันกลัว ไม่มีทางที่ยอมแพ้ถึงความฝันที่จะเห็น “คน=คน”

ใช่ค่ะ
“พวกคุณไม่มีทางเอาชนะเราได้”

ลูกเกด
ชลธิชา แจ้งเร็ว

#########################

From Prachatai

At 9 AM tomorrow (15 October 2021), I am going to present myself at Thanyaburi Police Station to inquire more information related to legal case following the speech I made on 11 September that addressed on monarchy reform. There is a possibility that I will be charged with Article 112 (lese-majeste) and will be brought further for pre-trial detention.

This possible legal charge stem from the peaceful gathering on 11 September that my friends and I participated in front of the Thanyaburi Provincial Court, where we called for the right to bail of other fellow activists and friends who are charged with lese-majeste and have been denied of their bail requests repeatedly.

On that day, I decided to put myself on the stage and said one of the callings that I wish it will happen in my life-time, which is the reform of monarchy in Thailand. Even though I am fully aware of what we are fighting against and the consequence that may follow in a form of lese-majeste charges and unjustly pre-trial detention, but I have made a decision – a “courageous” decision (even for myself) with good faith for the country and the monarchy in a pure hope that people in power would listen our concerns before it’s too late.

After the event, during the mid-September, the Thanyaburi Police Station issued warrants alleging nine individuals for violating Emergency Decree and few other offences. I become aware later that my name was listed as the first name in the warrant list. However, I have never received any of the warrants from Thanyaburi Police Station regarding this case. As a result, the lawyer team has been trying to seek more clarity from relevant police officer, but the police only replied back with vague information that all the warrants were issued and sent to all individuals except for Lookkate for whom they have not issued a warrant yet.

Later on, a police officer contacted lawyer team stating that there will be a legal proceeding of lese-majeste charge against Lookkate, and that if Lookkate present herself at police station, she will be put under pre-trial detention.

And as usual (with the current practice of Thai police), I still haven’t received any warrant for lese-majeste from Thanyaburi Police Station.

Therefore, at 9 AM tomorrow, I am going to present myself at the Thanyaburi Police Station to seek information related to this legal case and to show my intention that I have no desire to flee the country or avoid this legal proceeding. In the past weeks, I still do my normal routine, going to work, meeting and helping affected people from the flood in Pathum Thani province and etc.

Most importantly, I show my true sincerity by presenting myself at the police station, even though the police officer never sent any warrants to me. Therefore, the Thanyaburi Police Station has no legal justification to detain me or file my case further for pre-trial detention.

In the case that the Thanyaburi Police Station will insist on detaining me, it will only show to Thai society and international community that this is not justice system. This is just another strategic lawsuit (SLAPP) to silent any people that dare to talk or raise concerns for the reform of Thai monarchy. They want to destroy our dreams.

I have no need to call for mercy from police officers or judges in order for me to have my right to bail or right to fair trial. This is not justice system.

If people in power inside the justice system will approve detention order, I will walk to the prison with my smile and full dignity to state that no matter how you threaten or belittle us, there is no way that you can destroy us. That will never happen, we will never surrender. We will fight for our dreams – the dream that all people are equal in this country.

And yes, you will never win against us.

Lookkate
(Chonthicha Jaengrew)

For more on Chonthicha, see here (in Thai).





Updated: Problematic courts

22 10 2021

The courts have long demonstrated double standards and this has been especially the case for the Constitutional Court. That court’s latest decision is another example of its politicization.

On Wednesday, the Constitutional Court ruled “that Paiboon Nititawan, a former MP of the dissolved People Reform Party … retains his parliamentary status, on the grounds that he has not violated any provisions of the Constitution, as claimed by opposition MPs.”

Rightist Paiboon dissolved his party immediately after the rigged 2019 election and teamed up with his political buddies in the junta-formed Palang Pracharat Party. As Thai PBS has it:

The court took note that the People Reform Party resolved to dissolve on August 5th, 2019 and notified the registrar of political parties. This was followed by an announcement from the Election Commission on September 6th of the dissolution, published in the Royal Gazette.

Paiboon, according to the court, joined Palang Pracharat on September 9th, 2019 and the House of Representatives was notified by its leader on October 7th of the same year.

The court also ruled that Paiboon, in his capacity as the leader of People Reform Party, was legally bound to undertake the liquidation process to legally dissolve his party.

On the issue of “Paiboon’s obligation to the People’s Reform Party, post-dissolution, [which] was referred to the Constitutional Court by Parliament Speaker Chuan Leekpai,” the court “ruled that Mr Paiboon’s MP status was not affected by the issue and so remained intact on account of the legal dissolution of the People’s Reform Party.”

The long and the short of this is that opposition parties get dissolved on precious little evidence and on skimpy grounds, while a regime fellow traveler can stand for election in one mini-party, ditch the party and its “members,” and can get a free pass to transfer even when he was a party-list member for the dissolved party.

Of course, this provides an avenue for small parties to now merge with the regime party, something likely required for the next election. The court has paved the way.

Compare the brazen political favoritism of the Constitutional Court and the nastiness and political bias of other courts:

  • Yet more anti-democrats are let off. Sure, one copped jail, but that means nothing as those who violently blocked voters get a free pass.
  • Sitanan Satsaksit, sister of Wanchalearm Satsaksit, who was abducted and disappeared in Cambodia, and who, for obvious reasons, has had no information, support, or anything else from the regime that knows what happened, has been “charged for allegedly hosting an activity in breach of Covid curbs.” More buffalo manure charges to silence and threaten critics.
  • Young protesters continue to rot in jail, refused bail.
  • Penguin “Parit” Chiwarak now faces 21 lese majeste charges (and more to come). He’s held without bail.
  • The Bangkok South Criminal Court on Thursday ruled that Benja Apan, a Thammasat third-year student charged with lese majeste, cannot have bail.

See a pattern? It is contemporary authoritarianism.

Update: For more on the third rejection of Benja’s bail, see Prachatai.





Regime vs. students

20 10 2021

Over the past 18 months, political conflict has revolved around students opposing the regime and its royalist supporters. The student challenge has waned, in part because of the virus, but also because of the regime’s repression strategy, which has included virus emergency provisions used mostly for political purposes.

Much of the repression has been delegated to the purged police. Of course, the military has also been involved and continues to provide its backing for the regime and monarchy.

Political repression has extended from the streets to universities and to the judicial system. The latter has made heavy use of laws on lese majeste, sedition, computer crimes, public health mandates, and some charges dredged from a feudal Thailand.  For example, in a case from a year ago, several protesters were accused of violating Article 110 of the Criminal Code, which has to do with attempts an act of violence against the queen or the royal heir.  Those charged face 16-20 years’ imprisonment, making this an even more serious crime than lese majeste.

Of course, not one of those charged attempted any violence. But the repression of using the law hangs on, as one of them, Bunkueanun Paothong, explained in a recent op-ed.

In universities, administered by royalists doing the bidding of the regime, struggles continue. Prachatai reports on the royalists at Chiang Mai University where students from the Media Arts and Design Department in the Faculty of Fine Arts have been prevented from showing their final arts projects allegedly because “some pieces deal with social and political themes.” The censorious and fearful royalist Faculty administrators even locked students out of buildings. Some students and their parents are worried that the kids will not be allowed to graduate.

Such actions are common at universities across the country. Thasnai Sethaseree, an artist and Faculty of Fine Arts lecturer observed:

What happened during the past week is a common occurrence in Chiang Mai University, but the people who are affected have never spoken out…. Things like this happen in Chiang Mai University every day. This case like a volcano that will make the lava in other places erupt….

Back in Bangkok, where working class kids are facing off against police, Talugas protesters continue to be pushed into prisons. Thalugas, is causing a royalist stir:

Soldiers will step in to handle political protests only when the situation is considered a rebellion or a riot, Defence Forces chief Gen Chalermpol Srisawat said on Tuesday.

He said the announcement by the Thalu Gas group, now renamed the People’s Revolutionary Alliance (PRA), about aiming to overthrow the constitutional monarchy was a lawful expression of the group’s opinion.

The responsibility of the police is to ensure law and order, he said. So if the group were to act in any way that threatens Thailand’s sovereignty, it would then be time for the military to take action, he said.

While the statement that issuing an anti-monarchist statement is legal might bring some relief, the military defines the monarchy as a matter of “national security,” suggesting that the general’s statement is really a threat. Indeed, the police are already “investigating” a “Facebook page operated by the Thalu Gas group over content related to the monarchy…”.

The police admit they cannot eliminate anti-monarchism. The plan seems to be to silence it with thousands of legal charges and the jailing of hundreds.

The struggle continues.





Thanathorn’s 112 charge

13 10 2021

Thai PBS reports that the “Nang Loeng police [has] submitted its case file, on a lèse majesté charge against Progressive Group leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, to the Office of the Attorney-General today [12 October 2021].” The Bangkok Post also reports it.

Lawyer Krisadang Nutcharat, said that the police decided to charge his client:

over his livestream lectures on the government’s vaccine [mis]management, which contained remarks allegedly deemed to offend the monarchy, as he was questioning the government’s AstraZeneca vaccine strategy, most of which produced by Thai firm Siam Bioscience, which is owned by a subsidiary of the Crown Property Bureau.

The 112 charge was initiated by Apiwat Khanthong, “chairman of the government-appointed committee investigating the spread of disinformation about the execution of the prime minister’s and cabinet ministers’ duties.”

Meanwhile, Thanathorn also “reported to Phahonyothin police station this morning to acknowledge a second lèse majesté charge, also in connection with his Facebook livestream lectures.”

Thanathorn described the charges against him and other activists as “unjust, urging the public to protect them and to condemn this injustice.”

In Thanathorn’s livestream, titled “Royal Vaccine: Who Benefits and Who Doesn’t?” he “urged the government and the firm to publicly reveal the vaccine-production agreement to prove the procurement was being done in a transparent manner.”

Siam Bioscience, still as opaque as ever, seems to have failed monumentally given that millions of AstraZeneca doses are being imported from other countries.

Lese majeste has seen some mad cases in this past, but this one seems to suggest that criticizing or questioning any royal company is now off limits. Bizarre.





Defeating and defending the young

12 10 2021

With the mainstream media becoming increasingly quiescent under the current regime, for English readers, Prachatai and Thai Enquirer are critical sources of reliable information on Thailand’s politics. In this post, PPT looks at two recent Thai Enquirer pieces. Each reflects on the current political crisis.

In the first article, Erich Parpart and Cod Satrusayang observe that:

General Prayut Chan-ocha and his military-backed government are jailing the country’s future leaders for their own benefit. There is no use denying it anymore. But in doing so they are jeopardizing our country’s future while protecting themselves from criticism.

The government has now detained at least 20 pro-democracy protest leaders and activists. Most have been charged with lese-majeste and denied bail or have had their bail revoked while waiting for trial.

In fact, we’d argue that while there is clearly benefit to the regime, the real benefit is to the monarchy and the monarch. It is the military scratching the king’s back for the protection his position provides to a broad ruling elite. So when the regime claims attacks on the monarchy are a threat to national security, they mean to their security and that of the business-monarchy-military ruling elite.

That’s what they imply when they say: “Keep in mind, these jail sentences and arrests aren’t done to protect the public good…”, but protect a rotten regime, populated by those who should be in jail and some who have.

The article notes that many of those jailed are among Thailand’s best and brightest; indeed the country’s future. But now it is they who are rotting in jail.

The authors yell: “Free them, free the shackles that bind our thinking, it’s the only option.”

If Erich and Cod look at the leaders of the future, Caleb Quinley looks at the Thalugas protests, emphasizing the economic interests that drive them.

Firecrackers and ping pong bombs versus armed police, “dressed head to toe in black body armor carrying nonlethal firearms…. The sound of their boots echoed through the narrow halls of Din Daeng’s slum community…”.

Violence escalating: “It’s dangerous now…. But how else are they [the government] going to hear us?”

The young demonstrators have set fires to glittering massive portraits of the Thai King scattered throughout the city,  targeted police bunkers, and fired large fireworks into the dark.  In response, police have implemented a zero tolerance policy for unrest, unleashing rubber bullets, water cannons, and tear gas, detaining hundreds since September.

Caleb states: “The economic fallout from Covid is at the heart of the anger.” It is Thalugas “doing whatever it takes for the government to hear them.” Some want “respect” from the regime; to be heeded. They feel “they have been neglected for far too long.”

There are “increasing arrests and police brutality,” but this “group of young men are still raging on.” Many of them are “facing extreme economic difficulty [and] say they have nowhere else to turn. It’s ultimately all about raising the pressure to help their communities.”

Communities are always split, but for many locals, “these young men are white knights taking on an unfathomably powerful enemy.”





Artist faces another 112 charge

10 10 2021

According to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, “Chiang Mai University student and performance artist Withaya Khlangnin is facing another royal defamation charge [they mean lese majeste] for staging a performance in front of the university on 1 May 2021 to demand the release of detained activists.”

At this rally, Withaya poured red paint over himself, and climbed onto a Chiang Mai University sign that featured the near compulsory photo of King Vajiralongkorn.

Clipped from Prachatai

TLHR reports that police have decided that Withaya’s performance contravenes Article 112. This is because it allegedly:

involved climbing onto the university sign, above which was a portrait of the King and a sign saying “Long live the King.” Withaya also poured red paint all over himself, which the police said was unsightly, and spilled paint over the university sign and the image of the King. The police also said that the gestures Withaya used during the performance, such as standing with a paint bucket over his head, and lying down with one foot pointing up at the portrait of the king, was disrespectful.

Withaya heard the charge at Phuping Rajanivej Police Station on 5 October 2021, “dressed as Luffy from the Japanese manga One Piece, and staged a short performance before going to meet the inquiry officer.”

He “was released after his meeting with the inquiry officer. He has to report to the police again in 12 days, and has to submit further testimony in 20 days.”

According to Prachatai, Withaya is already facing two Article 112 charges.





Another student on 112 charge

9 10 2021

Prachatai reports that “[s]tudent activist Benja Apan was arrested [on] … 7 October … on a lèse majesté charge in connection with the 10 August 2021 protest and has been denied bail.”

During that protest:

Benja read out the 2nd United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration Declaration, stating that the 2014 coup led by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has led to a regime which benefited only the elite. The statement also criticised the government’s mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic and called for the government properly handle the pandemic, revitalise the economy, repeal the 2017 Constitution which allows the junta government to prolong its stay in power, push forward reforms in state structures and the monarchy, and also return to the people their dignity.

Clipped from Khaosod

She met police at the Lumpini Police Station on Thursday afternoon “to hear a charge of violating the Emergency Decree for participating in the 3 September protest at the Ratchaprasong intersection.” However, the police “found” an outstanding Article 112 arrest warrant along with charges for violations of the Emergency Decree and the Communicable Diseases Act, for participating in the 10 August 2021 rally.

The police said they would take Benja to the Thong Lo Police Station, but she refused. Despite further exhortations, she was eventually grabbed and carried by two women police officers who carried her to a police vehicle which took her to the Thong Lo Police Station.

She was denied bail and detained at Thong Lo Police Station overnight. She was taken to court on Friday morning for a temporary detention hearing. Judge Netdao Manotamkij “denied Benja bail on the grounds that the offense carries a serious penalty, and that she has previously committed the same offense. The inquiry officer also opposed bail.”

Benja has been taken to Central Women Correctional Prison. She is facing 6 charges under Article 112.





A report on lese majeste

6 10 2021

The International Federation for Human Rights says that the recent “wave of arrests, detentions, and prosecutions for royal defamation could result in several pro-democracy activists receiving prison sentences ranging between 120 and 300 years…”.

It has released a new report with Thai Lawyer for Human Rights and Internet Law Reform Dialogue titled Second wave: The return of lèse-majesté in Thailand “documents how the Thai government has used and abused Article 112 of the Criminal Code (“lèse-majesté”) to target pro-democracy activists and protesters in relation to their online political expression and participation in peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations.”





Patsaravalee charged under Article 112

2 10 2021

Mind

Prachatai reports, via Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), that student activist “Patsaravalee Tanakitvibulpon has been indicted on a royal defamation charge [Prachatai means lese majeste] related to a speech she gave at a protest on 24 March 2021, in which she said that the monarchy must reform itself in order to survive.”

TLHR says that on 30 September 2021, the “public prosecutor at the Southern Bangkok Department of Criminal Litigation … decided to indict Patsaravalee … under Section 112 of the Thai Criminal Code … and a violation of the Emergency Decree charge resulting from her participation in the 24 March 2021 protest at the Ratchaprasong Intersection.”

At that rally, Patsaravalee, or Mind, “gave a speech calling for the King to conduct himself in a manner that befits the head of the state.” She argued that the king’s “expansion of power will endanger the … monarchy, and that even though an absolute monarchy can be created, it can also fall in the next reign.”

In her speech, she issued three demands: “having a single, inseparable armed force, ending intervention in any political groups by the monarchy, and quickly returning public assets which have been transferred to the King’s personal ownership.”

The public prosecutor “claims that Patsaravalee’s speech falsely accused the King of trying to expand his power and creating an absolute monarchy, that he transferred the army to himself, used his power to interfere with politics, and took national treasures for his own, accusations which damage his reputation and cause hate against him.”

All her accusations seem entirely reasonable based on the reported actions of King Vajiralongkorn.

Patsaravalee was granted bail by the South Bangkok Criminal Court with a surety of 200,000 baht, “with the conditions that she must not participate in activities which damage the monarchy and must not leave the country.”

She was the only speaker at the rally charged with lese majeste. As is now usual, the complaint against her was made by ultra-royalists. She now faces three lese majeste charges.

According to TLHR’s numbers, since November 2020, “144 people are currently facing charges under Section 112 for their participation in the pro-democracy movement, 12 of whom are under 18 years of age. Several activists are also facing numerous counts, such as Parit Chiwarak, who is facing 20 counts, Anon Nampa, who is facing 14 counts, Panupong Jadnok, who is facing 9 counts, and Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, who is facing 8 counts.”








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