Lawlessness and the king

15 11 2014

Royalists regularly claim that the lese majeste law is required because the king and others covered by the draconian law are “unable to defend themselves” under the law. Other monarchies under constitutional regimes seem not to have this problem, so that observers know the claim is specious.

In fact, lese majeste, while a law, is used to justify lawlessness in matters to do with the king and monarchy. This has become even more noticeable following the May 2014 coup.

Repeatedly denying bail requests is common for lese majeste cases, and there have been repeated refusals to apply constitutional provisions – when there has been a constitution – to lese majeste cases. Many lese majeste cases are dealt with by judges who blatantly ignore the law.

When military courts become involved, the situation deteriorates to legal farce. This was amply demonstrated on Thursday when a military court ruled that yet another lese majeste case would be heard in camera.

Despite the presence of UN officials and representatives of human rights organizations, “lawyers are not allowed to copy trial reports to ‘maintain public morals’ and may be reprimanded for questions about civil rights and the credibility of the military courts.”

In the case reported, Sirapop (or Rung Sila) stands accused of poems on his personal blog and Facebook that allegedly violate Article 112 and the Computer Crimes Act.

The military court heard the military prosecutor propose that the trial be conducted in camera “because the case involves material defaming … the King.” Despite objections from defense lawyer Arnon Nampa, the military court decided on a secret trial to protect “public morals.”

In the secret court, the defendant, held since 25 June without bail, “denied all allegations…”.

Remarkably, when the defense lawyer “asked for a copy of the hearing report … the court did not allow this, reasoning that the case is serious and involves the important institution of the nation.” It means the monarchy.

At the same time, the “military court warned the defence lawyer to amend a petition within seven days because the petition contains ‘defamation against the junta and the military court’.” This refers to a challenge to the “independence and credibility of the military court and also urges the military court to consult the Constitutional Court for a ruling on whether the following issues breach … the 2014 Interim Charter…”.

The article in question states “that the freedom, rights and liberty of the Thai people must be respected and agreements with international agencies must be upheld.”

The effect is that when the monarchy is involved there is no law and human rights are trampled and thrown aside as meaningless.





Lese majeste cases piled high

25 07 2014

As has been said previously, the military dictatorship, as well as embedding itself, has been engaged in a widespread witch hunt on lese majeste. The witch hunt is part and parcel of a lese majeste repression that marks this regime as fascist-royalist.

Over the past couple of days, there have been several lese majeste reports deserving of widespread attention.

At the Bangkok Post it is reported that the daft authorities beholden to the military junta have recommended that the British citizen, Rose Amornpat,  be indicted by prosecutors.

Apparently, being “Thai-born” is sufficient for these dipsticks to waste their time with legal shows for the edification of royalist dolts. Or maybe they think that making a show of Rose’s “case” will deter others from point out that the Thai monarchy is an anti-democratic and fabulously wealthy bunch of parasites who suck up taxpayers’ funds for the amusement of a bunch of really rather strange royal family and sundry hanger-on.

If the Office of the Attorney-General indicts the British citizen, it will then cooperate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs “to bring back” Chatwadee Rose Amornpat to be “prosecuted in Thailand…”. Silly, yes, but that’s how mad monarchists are.

At Prachatai an important report notes that lese majeste detainees continue to be denied bail under the military junta. It mentions three cases:

Akradet E., a third-year engineering student at Mahanakorn University of Technology, is alleged to have posted remarks on Facebook against the monarchy. A complaint was made against him in March 2014.

He has been denied bail four times since 18 July.

The Criminal Court states “there was no justification to change the refusal of bail since the defendant was an educated adult who knew of his acts and detention would prevent possible flight.”

Chaleaw J. is a 55 year-old tailor born in Chaiyaphum. He is reportedly a resident of Bangkok and a self-taught computer geek who was arrested for allegedly lese majeste materials he stored at 4shared.com, a free file sharing and storage website.

Amongst the hundreds of clips stored were online red-shirt radio programmes and a few speeches by the exiled Banphot who specializes in radical anti-monarchist diatribes.  “I mostly forgot what I had stored there,” said Chaleaw.

He was detained by the junta on 3 June and charged on 9 June on lese majeste and computer crimes charges.

He has requested bail twice, and was refused, and now hoped he might get it after a third time. He said he “planned to confess once the trial began and hoped to seek royal pardon as soon as possible.”

Rung Sila is the penname of a 51-year-old poet and cyber activist. He said he was apprehended on 24 June 2014 while on his way to a neighbouring country to wait for his application for “Person of Concern” status to be processed by the UN refugee agency.

Some 40 fully-equipped officers raided and arrested his daughter, niece and nephew in Songkhla trying to grab Rung. He tried to make contact with the UNHCR to seek asylum status but was then intercepted and arrested in Kalasin.

Rung’s poems and his online articles and comments are “passionate and critical of the elite establishment.” He urges the people’s movement to move beyond the United Democratic Front Against Dictatorship. He says the UDD is “finished and the future of the country lay in the hands of individuals.”

 








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