Ammy and Phromsorn face more 112 charges

9 06 2021
Ammy

An earlier photo of Ammy

Prachatai reports that Chaiamorn Kaewwiboonpan or Ammy, the lead singer of band The Bottom Blues, is facing yet “another royal defamation charge for singing a modified version of his song ‘1 2 3 4 5 I love you’ at a protest in front of the Thanyaburi Provincial Court in January 2021.”

Along with the already reported case against and activist Phromsorn Weerathamjaree

, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights report that Ammy faces another lese majeste charges for “participation in the 14 January 2021 protest in front of the Thanyaburi Provincial Court to demand the release of student activist Sirichai Natueng, who was arrested in the middle of the night on 13 January 2021,” also for lese majeste involving the “spray-painting portraits of members of the royal family.”

It seems that this may also be a second case against Phromsorn for participation in this event – one for a speech and this one for joining Ammy in singing the song where the “I love you” is replaced with “Fuck you Too [Prayuth Chan-ocha]” or “Free our friends.” This time, however, the police claim the words were replaced with words against the king:

TLHR reported that according to the police, participants during the 14 January 2021 protest replaced “I love you” with “Fuck you […].” TLHR did not disclose what the final word was, but said the police deemed that the modified lyrics were insulting to the king.

Phromsorn

Phromsorn

Phromsorn reported to Thanyaburi Police Station on 7 June and denied the charge and Ammy reported on 8 June, also denying the charge.

The public prosecutor has now filed 112 cases against the two activists.

It is stated in the report that this “is the 17th royal defamation case in which the public prosecutor has ordered an indictment since the law began to be used against pro-democracy protesters in November 2020.”

The Thanyaburi Provincial Court granted bail to both men, “with a security of 300,000 baht each. The court also required them to sign a letter promising not to run or tamper with evidence.”

Ammy stated that this is “the first pop song to be charged under Section 112” and “that he was notified of the charges while he was still being detained pending trial in another royal defamation [lese majeste*] charge at the Thanyaburi Remand Prison.” He was detained for 69 days before being bailed on 11 May 2021 “on condition that he does not participate in activities which are damaging to the monarchy…”.

So far, Phromsorn is “facing a total of 3 counts of royal defamation [lese majeste] relating to political expression…”.

*PPT is becoming concerned that reporting of lese majeste is replacing the term with “royal defamation.” That plays into the arguments of the military-backed and royalist regime that argues for the draconian lese majeste charge being just another defamation charge. Clearly it is not.





Another bailed

11 05 2021

Political prisoner Phromsorn Weerathamjaree, known as Fah, has been released on bail from the Thanyaburi prison after 53 days in pre-trial detention and a hunger strike.

Detained on lese majeste and other charges,

According to the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), the Court of Appeal Region 1 allowed bail with security of 200,000 baht, with the condition that Phromsorn wears an Electronic Monitoring (EM) bracelet, does not tamper with evidence and does not commit similar offences to the one he is charged with.

He was bailed after four earlier requests had been rejected.

Phromsorn was bailed on 10 May.

The report states that Fah is “known as a talented public speaker and later joined Ratsadon Mutelu, a group of political activists that address structural problems via acts of sorcery.”

His 112 charge stemmed from a speech he made in front of Thanyaburi Provincial Court on 14 January 2021. 

The report states:

His case is a significant example of the bizarre judicial process facing pro-democracy protesters. He was suddenly taken to court for a temporary detention hearing after appearing at a police station on 17 March to hear the charges against him. This was 2 days after he was injured in a traffic incident.

Sasinan Thamnithinan, a TLHR lawyer who had accompanied Phromson to the police station, posted on Facebook an account of the sudden police move. The post explained that although Phromson had come to the station with his injuries to demonstrate that he had no intention to flee, the Deputy Superintendent suddenly decided, after the regular investigation stage, to take him to court before the court closed.

The police also sought to prevent the lawyer spending time consulting with her client, despite the turn of events, with the Station Superintendent allowing “them 2 minutes to consult in private.”

Phromsorn then staged a hunger strike to protest against his detention without bail.