Lese majeste repression continues

10 03 2012

Prachatai reports a lese majeste case that the mainstream media is unable or unwilling to do. We are not sure why this case has taken so long to emerge, with emails about it doing the rounds only earlier this week. We recommend reading the whole story at Prachatai.

It is reported that on 13 December 2011, police were seeking to arrest 5 people but only raided the homes of two Thai internet users, took them in for interrogation and seized their computers, phones and so on. They were released at night on the same day. They have not been officially charged.

One of the two is a 45-year-old woman who runs a small store and gives English lessons in Nakhon Pathom. She states that 14 policemen from the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TDSC) raided her house but refused to give her copies of the search warrant and interrogation report.

Apparently the police targeted her as

a member of the http://www.weareallhuman.info webboard, followed ‘Hi S tales’ (see here and here at New Mandala), promoted the stories by posting on the threads so that they kept appearing on the first page, and used an emoticon called ‘Khun Saab Sueng’ (คุณซาบซึ้ง), or Mr or Miss Overwhelmingly Grateful, created by another member of the webboard, which the police identified as a satirical symbol recognized among red shirts as referring to the monarchy.

She fears police have changed her hard disks which could be used in evidence if her case ever goes to trial.

The other person who was raided was Thaiwat Sithandonsamut who is an active blogger on politics and comics.

He has “been active in archiving articles and documents on politics and IT on his several blogs and Twitter and Facebook accounts.” He believes police raided his home because of an online accusation that he was “collecting information to overthrow the monarchy.”

Thaiwat says:

“I’m not worried and not afraid. As I’m now still unemployed, even if I’m persecuted and locked behind bars, that would not create much impact on me. At most, I would be jailed until Thai society agrees to accept, speak and take responsibility for the truth…”.

Odd, seemingly unrelated cases, but suggesting that the search for “disloyalty” continues in exceptionally bizarre ways, suggesting that the mindset of investigators is warped. At the same time, these cases again declare that lese majeste repression remains in place.

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