Ji on lese majeste

26 11 2014

Nut Rungwong, known as Somsak Pakdeedech, his pen name at the Thai E-News website he oversaw, was sentenced by a military court on 24 November 2014 to nine years in jail for lese majeste.

It was reported that the content leading “to the charge is an article by Ji Ungpakorn, a former Chulalongkorn University political scientist who has lived in self-exile in the UK since 2009. The article was published on the website in 2009.”

Ji has called to the country’s lese majeste law to be scrapped. He added: “This excuse that there’s some kind of special case in Thailand is just an excuse for repression… It’s more than about the King. It’s the way the elite, especially the military, use the King to justify their interference in politics.”

He made the all-too-obvious point that: “The lese majeste laws in Thailand are the opposite of human rights.” Ji points to the reason for lese majeste repression: “The important thing is that they’re not being used to defend the monarchy. They’re being used to suppress opposition to the status quo, especially the military dictatorship. The king could easily protected by ordinary laws like libel laws.”

His final point is also important: “The glaring outrage is that the prime minister of Thailand [The Dictator, General Prayuth Chan-ocha] is someone who ordered shooting on unarmed demonstrators in 2010, so you have a situation where editors and writers are being locked up but the real criminal is running the country.”





9 years on lese majeste

24 11 2014

Prachatai reports that Somsak Pakdeedech, the pen name for a man who oversaw the Thai E-News website, has been sentenced by a military court on 24 November 2014 to “nine years in jail for publishing an article deemed to defame the King on a popular anti-establishment news aggregator.”

The Guardian reports the sentencing of Nut Rungwong.

As is the pattern in lese majeste cases, the sentence was halved after the defendant entered a guilty plea.  Defendants know that if they fail to admit guilt that their cases will be dragged out for months and that they will still be declared guilty by politicized courts, military or civilian.

Thai E-News is popular with red shirts.

Somsak is reported to have been arrested during a military raid on his house on 25 November, and we assume this was last year.

It is reported that the content leading “to the charge is an article by Ji Ungpakorn, a former Chulalongkorn University political scientist who has lived in self-exile in the UK since 2009. The article was published on the website in 2009.”

Somsak  stated: “The verdict didn’t surprise me. Personally, I think everything will change. I’m not allowed to talk but … We shall overcome…”.








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