The politically persecuted

19 03 2023

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights has provided an update on political persecution by the current regime.

It begins:

Two months into the new year as Thailand is gearing towards a general election, over a hundred cases related to political expression and assemblies are still set to go to trial. In the past month, at least six new lèse-majesté cases have been reportedly initiated, while six cases related to the protests in 2020 – 2021 have been dismissed by the court….

According to TLHR statistics, at least 1,895 people in 1,180 cases have been charged and/or prosecuted due to their political participation and expression since the beginning of the “Free Youth” protest on 18 July 2020 until 28 February 2023.

Among this number are 211 cases involving 284 children and youths under 18 years old, including 41 below 15 years old and 243 between 15 – 18 years old.

TLHR data on EM

14 03 2023

In a follow-up to a recent link we provided to Prachatai on electronic monitoring – the anklets courts order, mainly for those accused of political crimes – Thai Lawyers for Human Rights has a report that aggregates data on the use of these devices.

112 for two more

12 03 2023

Via Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, Prachatai reports that two more protesters have been arrested for lese majeste, “contempt of court for singing and speaking at a protest in July 2022….”.

The pair were arrested on 9 March 2023 and both have been denied bail.

Chen. Clipped from Prachatai. Photo by Ginger Cat

Chen Chiwabancha, 55, known as a protest regular and a YouTuber, was arrested at around 16.00 on 9 March 2023 at a protest in front of the Ratchadapisek Criminal Court. Although he had never received a summons, he was arrested on a warrant from the South Bangkok Criminal Court on Article 112 charges as well as contempt of court, defamation by publication, and using a sound amplifier without permission. Chen was initially detained at Yannawa Police Station.

At around 18.25, police also arrested Ngoentra Khamsaen, 43, another protest regular also known as Mani. She had gone to the Yannawa Police Station after Chen was arrested. She faces similar charges to those against Chen. Like Chen, she never received a summons prior to her arrest.

Ngoentra had previously been arrested in August 2022 on “charges of contempt of court, defamation, and using a sound amplifier without permission relating to a protest on 15 July 2022. She was denied bail and detained for 9 days before being granted bail.”

TLHR says the current charges relate to a protest on 28 July 2022 in front of the South Bangkok Criminal Court. It was the court that complained.

According to the police, both “gave speeches without requesting permission to use a sound amplifier and put up banners insulting the court.” In addition, they are accused of singing the Faiyen song ..โชคดีที่มีคนไทย (…Lucky to have Thai people) which is claimed to insult the monarchy.

Ngoentra. Clipped from Prachatai

Chen and Ngoentra were detained overnight at Yannawa Police Station and then taken to the court that lodged the complaint. Predictably, the court denied bail using the usual claim that the charges are very serious, those charged may flee the country or repeat the offense (these are the main legal grounds for denying bail). The order was reportedly signed by judge Phaibun Thongnuam.

As Prachatai explains, the song, banned in Thailand, is “about how Thai people are made to love the King through many means and the punishment the people will face if they do not love the King.

It is reported that “[a]nother protester has previously been arrested for singing the song during a protest in August 2022,” and TLHR states that there are four more cases of lese majeste for singing or playing the song. In these cases, all the accused were bailed.

Ngoentra has previously been detained when she was arrested in August 2022 on charges of contempt of court, defamation, and using a sound amplifier without permission relating to a protest on 15 July 2022. She was denied bail and detained for 9 days before being granted bail.

February’s political cases

6 03 2023

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights has published its February update of statistics and news on politically-motivated charges and cases. So far, the report is available only in Thai. English-language reports usually appear somewhat later.

The summary of cases is:

Since the start of the assembly “Free Youth” on July 18, 2020. Until February 28, 2023, there were people prosecuted for protesting and expressing political views totaling at least 1,895 people in 1,180 cases.

Among these are children and young people. For those under 18 years of age, there are 284 people in 11 cases, including 41 children under 15 years old and 243 youths between 15-18 years old.

When comparing the case statistics with the end of January 2023, there were 5 new accused persons with 11 more cases (counting only the accused who had never been prosecuted before).

Political prisoners and bail

1 03 2023

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights have released their latest data on political detainees and bail. It is well worth reading in full.

It begins: “According to TLHR, as of 20 February 2023, at least 3 people were detained for their political expressions or for politically motivated reasons.” They have been denied bail multiple times after almost a year in pre-trial detention.

Bail refused

27 02 2023

Thai PBS reports that the “Supreme Court rejected the bail applications by two convicted Talugas defendants because they may attempt to flee if they are released from jail…”.

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights posted that bail applications were for “Thiranai” and “Chaiporn.”

The two protesters “were each sentenced to three years in prison after they were found guilty of possessing cherry bombs by the Criminal Court.” They have been appealing and have been detained while the appeals have been proceeding.

The judiciary’s double standards are again obvious when political prisoners face the judiciary.


22 02 2023

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights are a brave and indispensable organization. Without TLHR, political prisoners would be left to the whims of the royalist regime and its puppet police and judiciary.

We highly recommend a recent interview between 112WATCH and Sirikan ‘June’ Charoensiri, a human rights attorney working with TLHR.

June begins with the situation regarding lese majeste:

Since November 2020, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights has documented at least 230 individuals who have been prosecuted under Section 112 of the Thai Criminal Code as a result of their political expressions and/or protests. More than half of the cases stemmed from online criticisms and expressions regarding the Thai monarchy. Many were charged due to various forms of
peaceful expressions, including, but are not limited to: mock protests; wearing a crop top or a Thai traditional costume to allegedly mock the King and/or the Queen; criticising the COVID-19 vaccine company owned by the King; commenting that the budget allocated to the monarchy is more than that allocated for covid response; posting a sticker of a political satire over the eyes of a portrait of the King; and conducting public opinion polls about the royal expenditures and royal motorcades.

She concludes:

the Thai government needs to realise that the remedy to speech it dislikes is more speech, not enforced silence. Start talking to the people. Listen to what they have to say. Underneath the demands of the people is a simple call for justice, equality, and fairness. How can the Thai government ever say no to that?

Of course, it does say no and it has been saying no for a very long time.

The interview is 4 pages long, packed full of useful insights. Read it all.

Updated: 4 political prisoners bailed

19 02 2023

The Bangkok Post reports that four members of Thalugas/Thalugaz have been released on bail of 70,000 baht each and ordered to wear electronic monitoring anklets.

According to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, these political prisoners “had spent more than 240 days in pre-trial detention…”. That detention of more than 8 months results from them being “accused of setting fire to a police car during a protest on June 11, 2022.”

Clipped from Pattaya News

TLHR reports that their lawyers “had requested bail for them 18 times — the most of all political prisoners in 2022.”

It is reported that “the foursome expressed thanks to hunger strikers Tantawan ‘Tawan’ Tuatulanon and Orawan ‘Bam’ Phuphong, who have led the campaign in support of bail rights for political prisoners.” Those brave women are past 30 days in their brave protest, demanding “the right to bail, the release of all political prisoners and the abolition of the lese-majeste and sedition laws.”

This release of Thalugas prisoners means that “four detainees remain in Bangkok Remand Prison.”

One of those detainees is “Sophon Suraritthamrong, who has been refusing to sleep for 10 days.” He has been detained since 9 January 2023 on lese majeste.

Update: Prachatai reports that the glacial, royalist courts have “granted bail to 3 detainees whose charges relate to political protests, leaving 3 still detained.” On 20 February 2023, the Ratchadaphisek Criminal Court “granted a request from their lawyers to temporarily release Sopon Surariddhidhamrong, Nutthanit Duangmusit, and Pornpot Jaengkrajang.”

It is reported that the “remaining three are Thiranai, Khathathon, and Chaiyaporn (surnames withheld in all cases)…. In Thiranai and Chaiyaporn’s case, the Court has passed the request to the Court of Appeal for consideration. In Khathathon’s case, Ratchadaphisek Criminal Court asked for further information. All cases would take a few days before a decision is made.”

However, Prachatai also says that “there are [an]other 6 people who have been sentenced to prison terms for crimes related to expression about the monarchy and actions related to the protest. The longest serving is Anchan, who has been sentenced to 43 years and six months for violating Article 112 of the Thai Criminal Code (lèse majesté).”

On Tantawan and Orawan, “Thaluwang (Pierce the Palace), a monarchy reform group to which Tantawan and Orawan are affiliated, posted that the two would leave Thammasat hospital and continue to protest in front of the Supreme Court on Tuesday if all the bail requests are not promptly granted.”

The suckers who suck hardest for rancid royalism

18 02 2023

In a story at Prachatai that we already posted on, there was some interesting data on lese majeste.

Prachatai used a Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) database which lists 135 Article 112 charges brought by the authorities and 114 brought by ordinary citizens since the use of the law was reinstated to suppress monarchy reform protests.

The list is revealing of those seeking to protect the monarchy, suck up to higher-ups,  and promote themselves:

  • Siwapan Manitkul – 9
  • Pasit Chanhuaton – 8
  • Apiwat Khanthong – 8
  • Nopadol Prompasit – 7
  • Anon Klinkaew, head of the People’s Centre to Protect the Monarchy – 5
  • Uraporn Sunthorapoj, a citizen from Samut Prakan – 5
  • Nangnoi Atsawakittikorn, a former leader of Thailand Help Centre for Cyberbullying Victims and a former MP candidate for the right-wing Action Coalition for Thailand Party – 4
  • Kanbongkot Mekhapraphatsakun from People’s Centre to Protect the Monarchy – 4
  • Warissanan Sribowornthanakit, Thailand Help Centre for Cyberbullying Victims – 3
  • Raphiphong Chaiyara of the People’s Centre to Protect the Monarchy – 3
  • Piyakul Wongsing, People’s Centre to Protect the Monarchy – 3
  • Sub-Lt Narin Sakcharoenchaikun from the Thai Pakdee Party – 3
  • Srisuwan Janya, serial complainer and self-promoter – 3

14 year old slapped with Article 112

1 02 2023

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights reports that the youngest known victim of lese majeste is a 14-year-old schoolgirl.

The girl received a 112 summons from the Samranrat Police Station. She is said to have participated in political rallies during  2022. The summons dated 23 January 2023. The exact nature of the charge is still unclear with the summons stating that the incident occurred on 14 October 2022 in Bangkok.

TLHR reports that there are at least 18 cases of juveniles aged under 18 charged with lese majeste, in 21 cases. Of these, there are four 14-year-olds, with this girl being the youngest known accused, at 14 years and seven months.

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