Nitirat's proposed amendments to Article 112 (updated version)

It is recognized that human beings, regardless of origin or status, should have human dignity, liberty, and equality, and show reasonableness and tolerance toward differing opinions, and that in a democratic society, the right to freedom of expression is indispensable and any restriction of this freedom must be in proportion to necessity and not of a form that conflicts with the essence of this freedom.

The existing law concerning defamation of, insults to and threats to the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent, and the Regent is inappropriate both in the structure of its sections, the range of penalties, and its enforcement. In addition, the section provides no exemption for criticism, the expression of opinion or the expression of statements that are made in good faith and in order to uphold the Constitution and democratic system of government.  It is at present clear that the law opens a channel for individuals to use it for political purposes or to use it in bad faith in a manner inconsistent with the intent of the law. 

In order to uphold the right to freedom of expression in accordance with the objectives of the Constitution, the Nitirat believes it should propose the following amendments to the law concerning defamation of, insults to and threats to the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent, and the Regent.

Point I

The existence of Section 112

Proposal

Repeal Section 112 of the Criminal Code

Rationale

1. Section 112 of the Criminal Code currently in force was enacted through Order No. 41 of the National Administrative Reform Council dated 21 October 1976 and as a “law” of coup makers, this section lacks democratic legitimacy.

2. Since the proposal of the Nitirat is to restructure several sections in the Criminal Code related to the offence of defaming of the King, it is necessary to repeal Section 112 in the form of an offence related to the security of the Kingdom in order to introduce a new section .../... in the form of an offence related to the honour of the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent, and the Regent.

Point II

Position of the section concerning offences related to the honour and reputation of the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent, and the Regent

Proposal

1. Add provision .../... concerning offences related to the honour of the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent and the Regent to the Criminal Code.

2. Introduce a section concerning offences of defaming, insulting and threatening the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent, and the Regent in the form .../...

3. Separate offences according to the nature of the offence ... into 4 types of offences:
•    Offences concerning defamation of the King
•    Offences concerning insults or threats made against the King
•    Offences concerning defamation of the Queen, the Heir-apparent and the Regent
•    Offences concerning insults or threats made against the Queen, the Heir-apparent and the Regent

Rationale

The nature of the offence of defaming, insulting and threatening the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent, and the Regent in a Constitutional Monarchy is not severe enough to reach the point of threatening the survival, integrity or security of the Kingdom.

Point 3

Positions to be protected

Proposal

Separate protection of the King from protection of the Queen, Heir-apparent, and Regent as follows:

Section ... “Whoever defames the King shall receive punishment of ...”

Section ... “Whoever insults or threatens the King shall receive punishment of ...”

Section ... “Whoever defames the Queen, Heir-apparent, or Regent shall receive punishment of ...”

Section ... “Whoever insults or threatens the Queen, Heir-apparent, or Regent shall receive punishment of ...”

Rationale

This is to differentiate protection of the King from protection of the Queen, the Heir-apparent, or the Regent in line with other offences.
•    Offences concerning regicide (Section 107)
•    Offences concerning the killing of the Queen, the Heir-apparent, and the Regent (Section 109)
•    Offences concerning acts of violence against the King (Section 108)
•    Offences concerning acts of violence against the Queen, the Heir-apparent, and the Regent (Section 110)

Point 4

Range of penalties

Proposal

1. No minimum penalty

2. Reduce the maximum punishment for the offence of defaming the King to imprisonment no greater than 2 years and limit the fine to an amount no greater than 50,000 baht.

3. Reduce the maximum punishment for the offence of insulting or threatening the King to imprisonment no greater than 1 year and limit the fine to an amount no greater than 20,000 baht.

4. Reduce the maximum punishment for the offence of defaming the Queen, Heir-apparent or Regent to imprisonment no greater than 1 year and limit the fine to an amount no greater than 30,000 baht.

5. Reduce the maximum punishment for the offence of insulting or threatening the Queen, Heir-apparent, or Regent to imprisonment no greater than 6 months and limit the fine to an amount no greater than 10,000 baht.

Rationale

1. During the Absolute Monarchy, no minimum penalty was imposed for the offence of defaming, insulting and threatening the King. Therefore, under a Constitutional Monarchy, no minimum penalty shall be imposed for such an offence.

2. The Court will have the opportunity to use its discretion to impose an appropriate penalty for each case.

3. Protection of individuals with the position of King, Queen, Heir-apparent and Regent should be appropriate to their positions and therefore offences should carry a maximum penalty higher than that for the offence of defamation of an ordinary person which carries a penalty of imprisonment not exceeding one year, or fine not exceeding 20,000 baht, or both, and should strike a balance between the severity of the offence and the penalty that the person committing the offence should receive, according to the principle of proportionality stipulated in the Constitution.  The maximum penalty should therefore be reduced.

4. As Head of State, the King has a different status from that of the Queen, the Heir-apparent, or the Regent, and therefore a different maximum penalty should also be imposed.

5. As the nature of the offence and the losses incurred from the offence of defamation are different from the nature of the offences and the losses incurred by the offences of insults or threats, it is therefore appropriate to separate the two kinds of offences and provide for different punishments.

Point 5

Exemption from constituting an offence

Proposal

The following exemption from constituting an offence should be added:

Section ... “Whoever in good faith criticizes, expresses an opinion or expresses statements in order to uphold the democratic system of government with the Monarch as Head of State under the Constitution, in order to protect the Constitution, for academic purposes or for the public interest, shall not commit an offence under Section ... and Section ...”

Rationale

Section 45 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand guarantees the right to freedom of expression, and the expression of opinion in good faith for the above purposes should not be a criminal offence.

Point 6

Reasons for exemption

Proposal

The following reasons for exemption from punishment should be included:

Section ... “In the case of a defamation offence characterized by ... if the person accused of committing such an offence can prove that the statement made is true, he or she shall not be punished

If the accusation is an offence concerning the royal person or personal affairs, and the proof does not serve public interest, the proof shall not be permitted.”

Rationale

Though such an act is an offence, if the act is the expression of a statement which is true and which serves the public interest, it should be exempt from punishment.

Point 7

Accusatory authority

Proposal

1. General public shall be barred from filing a complaint that an offence has been committed pertaining to the honour of the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent and the Regent.

2. The Office of His Majesty's Principal Private Secretary should be the complainant regarding offences pertaining to the honour of the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent and the Regent.

Rationale

1. To prevent any ordinary person from using the section as a political tool or in bad faith.

2. As the Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary is a government agency, it has authority as the secretariat of the monarch under Section 46, Paragraph 1 (1) of the 2002 Revision of Ministries, Sub-Ministries and Departments Act. The Office has the status of a department and is under the command of the prime minister under Section 46, Paragraph 2 of the 2002 Revision of Ministries, Sub-Ministries and Departments Act. There is a Legal Affairs Division whose duty is to carry out work pertaining to law and procedures within the responsibility of the Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary. It is therefore appropriate for the Office to perform the duty of protecting the honour of the King, Queen, Heir-apparent, and the Regent.

Note: In addition to being a proposal for the reform of Section 112 of the Criminal Code, Khana Nitirat intends for this to serve as a standard for the future reform of other rules concerning offences of defamation or insults in the Criminal Code to become systematic and in line with this proposal as well.

Nitirat: Law for the People

Tha Prachan, 26 Dec 2011

Comments

What happened to my comments

What happened to my comments Prachatai? You state on your own "About Us" section that you aim "to promote active public participation in Thai news media." Only when anyone questions the official narrative you peddle, a troupe of commentators is on stand by to dismiss even documented evidence out of hand and now you've resorted to censorship. What exactly are you fighting for if you resort to the exact same tactics as the people you criticize on a daily basis?

At least the Thai establishment has a point to make against organizations like Prachatai - on record receiving millions of baht a year from the National Endowment for Democracy, an organization notorious for meddling in the sovereign affairs of foreign nations.

Tony the problem is you are

Tony the problem is you are apparently not here to establish dialogue or initiate debate. Your sole intent seems to continuously, boringly shove your ideas down everybody's throats. I have never once seen you react in a way you yourself suggest others do. On various occasions I have tried to be reasonable with you and gotten your verbal fist thrust at me, as you have responded to many others.

Censorship would mean preventing you from expressing your ideas and opinions everywhere. That is not the case. You have many places you could express your opinions and nobody would complain. On the contrary in Thailand they would be welcome by some.

Try the BP or The nation, or some military radio station, maybe a PAD pamphlet. I am sure your writings would be welcome by them.

That is the difference. People who have opinions, say about the LM laws are not only prevented from expressing them in one particular place but...everywhere.

Anybody can write a book but not every publisher will want to print it.

Nope - sorry - what nonsense.

Nope - sorry - what nonsense. Prachatai pretends to be a free-speech forum and now they are actively censoring ideas that run contra to their agenda. They are hypocrites and when they and the people they work for get into power - as Thaksin did when he WAS in power - they are going to silence, muzzle, and otherwise rationalize silencing all opposing views.

You are immense hypocrites - I see vulgarity, insults, empty, off-topic rhetoric sown throughout Prachatai by its readers and yet their comments are left to stand. The problem isn't that I'm not here to establish a dialogue - the problem is I'm the only one here not sycophantically stamping my approval onto each Prachatai post like the rest of you.

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/08/exposed-indy-newspaper-funded-by-us.html

Why IS Prachatai taking money from these people?

Francis Fukuyama: Neo-Con PNAC signatory, pro-war
Zalmay Khalilzad: Neo-Con PNAC signatory, pro-war + corporate lobbyist
Will Marshall: Neo-Con PNAC signatory, pro-war
Vin Weber: Neo-Con PNAC signatory, pro-war + corporate lobbyist
Richard Gephardt: pro-war, corporate lobbyist for big-pharma, Boeing & Ford Motor Co.
John Bohn: petrochemicals, corporate consultant & international banker for 13 years
Rita DiMartino: CFR, AT&T "Vice President of Congressional Relations"
Kenneth Duberstein: Boeing, ConocoPhillips, Mack-Cali Realty, CFR member & Fannie Mac.

So Robald if it helps you to sleep at night - rationalize if you will silencing people who attempt to hold Prachatai accountable. Neither you nor anyone else on Prachatai - including Prachatai itself has explained just why they are accepting money from corporate-fascists in the US who have engineered wars, genocide, censorship, and even torture. It is an immense fraud to pose as liberal progressives yet covertly serve the very opposite ideals. Pointing that out is not wrong. Censoring it and you rationalizing the silencing of these calls for accountability IS wrong.

I am not concerned with your

I am not concerned with your diatribe against Prachatai which smacks of some sort of revenge thing, Tony. And what I wrote previously makes perfect sense. You again simply reply with the same old same old.

Whatever will help bring about the needed change(s) in Thailand is good, even if only as a means. I know full well the hypocrisy in for example the US concerning free speech. But if referring to what free speech there is can help win the battle of free speech in Thailand then so be it.

You assume people are disinterested in the wrongs of the world but that is not the case. Try to see the hole picture.

It has become clear you are planted here to try your best to sow the seeds of destruction. I would not be surprised if you are the one being paid by some extreme right wing group to do their bidding. It is totally clear to everyone you have absolutely no interest in dialogue or debate.

Anyway, true you annoy, but you probably, more than anything else make people keep on their toes more to avoid the worst and to remember how difficult the struggle against the forces that want to keep down the world's people is.

I hope you can find some inner peace for yourself. I do not sleep well because I find the oppressors are impossible to hold accountable.

Only the National Endowment

Only the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) that funds Prachatai millions of baht a year is on record for decades now destabilizing governments and installing dictatorships just as brutal, the only difference is they serve Wall Street interests, not even the narrow nationalist interests the regimes they oust served.

This was going on in the 90's when Noam Chomsky described their activity as "an attempt to impose what is called democracy, meaning rule by the rich and the powerful, without interference by the mob but within the framework of formal electoral procedures."

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/08/exposed-indy-newspaper-funded-by-us.html

Guess what? It is still going on now. NED helped overthrow the government of Tunisia - on record, even was covered in the New York Times - and now a NED-funded operative is literally president of Tunisia.

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/12/us-funded-activist-becomes-president-of.html

So now you've gone full circle from denying NED was a fraud, to somehow defending Prachatai's taking money from an organization still fully, disingenuously using "freedom" and "democracy" to pursue goals of corporate fascism and conquest. How can anyone take you or Prachatai seriously? And Prachatai to this day has failed to address legitimate concerns regarding their sustaining themselves on blood money from foreign corporate fascists. You don't think that is a relevant question to ask over and over again until you get an answer? The real question is, why aren't YOU asking that question?

Or is it that your intellect is so limited that you are unable to realize that Prachatai is lying about freedom of speech to promote the agenda of its sponsors, just like the US lied about freedom and democracy to sell the military conquest of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya? Are you seriously naive enough to see Prachatai's completely compromising funding and still believe they are not guilty of immense fraud?

Thanks to Nitirat for

Thanks to Nitirat for (re)launching a brave campaign to roll back the power embedded in laws and rules authored by the military and generations of self-protective elites.

First Nitirat was asking to

First Nitirat was asking to roll back the consequences of the 2006 coup but not recognizing the legitimate justification that demanded the coup in the first place. "Self-protective elite?" That's funny, the man they ousted was a mass-murdering, autocratic billionaire who instituted his own regime of "lese-Thaksin" measures.

The fact that Thaksin was additionally and very overtly working for foreign corporate financier interests, as are the leaders of his UDD mobs now, makes him a traitor as well. It would have been negligence on the military's behalf NOT to remove him from power - as he had circumvented any attempt to remove him through due process.

Of course the military's measures should be rolled back as soon as possible - granted that Thaksin's political machine is entirely dismantled and the ability for someone to build up a cult of personality in a similar manner obstructed. Had Nitirat had the intellectual honesty to address the very real transgressions Thaksin committed including his treasonous service to foreign interests, we could take them seriously. Now they are harping on 112 in concert with shills like Somyot? All they look like is yet another troupe of paid liars trying to remove obstacles for the return of Thaksin and his hereditary dictatorship. Sorry, no thanks. When someone can objectively address transgressions on both sides and suggest a way to cut them BOTH down to size - I will be more convinced. I am not in favor of trading one tyranny for one worse yet - but ridding Thailand of both.

Yes, there's no getting away

Yes, there's no getting away from it, Nitirat are brave and innovative. If they oppose those who support a mass-murdering military backed by the huge resources of the elite and get up the nose of shrill commentators who support a decrepit regime, they must be good.

Wasn't the Truth for Reconciliation Commission looking at both sides? At least it was appointed by the past bloodthirsty regime and continues to work under the current lot.

Mass murdering military?

Mass murdering military? Thaksin had 2,500 people put to death in extra-legally street executions.

The military conducted security operations in the face of an admitted force of 300-500 armed militants - the resulting gun battled claimed 91 lives, 10 of whom were soldiers and police, another 2 confirmed killed by UDD thugs. Hardly a "massacre," hardly "mass murder" hardly comparable to what Thaksin had done - the very man behind the 300-500 thugs that took to the streets in 2010 to initiate the bloodbath you cite.

This isn't "Tony" saying this either - the HRW report stated this, UDD leaders admitted to fielding 300+ armed militants, and photographic and video evidence also confirms this.

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/12/mainstream-propagandists-tale-of.html

The HRW report on page 62 states: "As the army attempted to move on the camp, they were confronted by well-armed men who fired M16 and AK-47 assault rifles at them, particularly at the Khok Wua intersection on Rajdamnoen Road. They also fired grenades from M79s and threw M67 hand grenades at the soldiers. News footage and videos taken by protesters and tourists show several soldiers lying unconscious and bleeding on the ground, as well as armed men operating with a high degree of coordination and military skills. According to some accounts, they specifically aimed at the commanding officers of the army units involved in the crowd dispersal operations, sowing panic among the soldiers. Human Rights Watch investigations concluded this group consisted of Black Shirts deployed among the UDD protesters. "

Page 89 of the HRW report: "Among the arsonists’ main targets was the Central World shopping complex, one of Southeast Asia’s biggest shopping malls, located almost directly behind the Ratchaprasong UDD stage. In plain view, several dozen Black Shirts and UDD protesters began breaking the windows of the complex’s Zen wing. After some looting, they threw petrol bombs and exploding cooking gas canisters inside the mall. Arsonists fed the flames with plastic chairs and other flammable materials from the abandoned protest camp. The mall was soon engulfed in flames."

and just in case you try to

and just in case you try to weasel out by saying the HRW report doesn't prove UDD leaders admitted to fielding militants,

here is the Guardian report revealing Seh Daeng's admissions of having 300 armed men trained for
''close encounters'' ....

http://www.theage.com.au/world/red-commander-saw-himself-as-thai-william-wallace-20100518-vc54.html

And Reuters quoting UDD international spokesman Sean Boonpragcong claiming: "They are a secret unit within the army that disagrees with what's going on. Without them, the black clad men, there would have been a whole lot more deaths and injuries."

http://in.mobile.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-47881220100421

It's all covered in my research...

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/12/mainstream-propagandists-tale-of.html

So not only media from around the world providing video and photographic evidence, not only the HRW having no choice but to acknowledge the evidence, but even UDD leaders themselves refute entirely what you are saying.

Mass-murdering military: It

Mass-murdering military: It seems that someone hasn't read their history books, even the English-language ones: of course, everyone knows of 1973, 1976 and 1992, and some will mention the military involvement in the War on Drugs and Tak Bai and Kru Se. And then we can add in the recent work against red shirts, but also all of the murders of political opponents from at least 1957 to 1973. Get up with the game Tony. You are looking ragged and shrill again.

Even in the United States the

Even in the United States the military is not a homogeneous institution neither in its present state nor throughout history - and then you are talking about events that took place decades ago which is intellectually dishonest on top of juvenile simplicity.

I just pointed out Seh Daeng, a commissioned officer in the Royal Thai Army working openly for Thaksin and fielding 300-500 armed militants during an attempted insurrection in 2010 - what more proof do you need that the entire military is not in lockstep with each other? Thaksin's relatives have held positions throughout the Thai military. To paint such broad strokes in regards to the Thai military without naming names and presenting evidence is neither rational nor honest.

Mass-murdering military: I am

Mass-murdering military: I am commenting on a military that has a long and proven history of murdering its own people. It has been consistent in this right up to 2010.

The only intellectual dishonesty is in you deciding what I am writing about without even understanding the comment. You haven't read (or remembered) the history on this brutal military. If you look at my comment without the blindness born of paranoia, you'll see that I also commented on events that are recent and not just decades ago, including atrocities carried out by the army under Thaksin's leadership: "of course, everyone knows of 1973, 1976 and 1992, and some will mention the military involvement in the War on Drugs and Tak Bai and Kru Se. And then we can add in the recent work against red shirts, but also all of the murders of political opponents from at least 1957 to 1973."

As I said, get up with the game Tony.

By all accounts, including

By all accounts, including the UDD leadership itself - the UDD provoked the bloodshed in 2010. They fielded at least 300 militants - not according to the Thai military, the Democrats, or Thaksin's opponents, but according to Thaksin's own lackey, Seh Daeng who had met Thaksin in person in Dubai and was overtly leading the militant wing of his movement.

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/12/mainstream-propagandists-tale-of.html

The evidence was so overwhelming that Human Rights Watch in their report had no choice but to acknowledge the evidence of militants fighting amongst the ranks of UDD protesters. The closest thing we get to the Thai military "massacring its own people" is when HRW claims the military fired into "mostly unarmed ranks" of protesters at one point during security operations. Mostly unarmed still means armed.

The military in Thailand, of all places has had a turbulent history and you don't see me defending them for their past deeds. However their actions in 2006 ousting Thaksin were justified, their security operations against admittedly armed terrorists in 2010 was necessary and conducted to the very best of their ability. The only thing you can criticize them for is lacking larger units of professional soldiers and marksmen who would have helped lower the number of casualties in crossfire incidents.

I have shown documented evidence from both HRW and the UDD itself refuting you Albert. Do you understand what that means? Even the people you are trying to defend refute your argument! Lol.

That is your comment, not

That is your comment, not mine. I am writing about a mass-murdering military that has a long history of killing its own people. You can speak with yourself if that makes you feel stronger as a troll.

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Thanks to the Nitirat group,

Thanks to the Nitirat group, and people like Kan Thoop, there is hope for a better, fairer, Thailand.

(btw, I'm waiting for Tony to tell us Nitirat are funded by..........., and are part of a global conspiracy to overthrow.........)

Why don't you look into

Why don't you look into yourself? Afraid of what you might find? It wouldn't be the first time someone used noble ideals to sell a nefarious agenda. Of course, Nitirat are suspiciously one sided. How can you roll back a coup without addressing the autocratic mass murdering tyrant and his personality cult it aimed to overthrow?

It is a joke. And by the way, there is an opposing group of "intellects" and "academics" refuting Nitirat, proving that you can get people qualified on paper to say anything you want - at the end of the day it still comes down to facts. Fact is - Thaksin and the UDD were, are, and always will be illegitimate usurpers serving a foreign agenda, and disingenuously manipulating ignorant people with the same "people power" lies Hun Sen in Cambodia used to literally steal the country out from under his "prai." Over 50% of Cambodia belongs to foreign investors, as do several units of Cambodia's military as private mercenaries to protect their newly acquired land from the peasants they just kicked out of their homes.

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2010/09/hun-sen-globalist-model-pet.html

Imagine that - Thaksin and Hun Sen have had QUITE the collaboration over the years. Yet more "coincidences" difficult to refute and pointing to yet more reason why the military was right to oust him and will be quite justified doing so yet again.

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Spain's human rights judge

Spain's human rights judge goes on trial

Human rights groups and many Spanish supporters of Garzon view the accusations as attacks on Garzon for his investigation, launched in 2008, into alleged crimes against humanity committed by Spain's nationalist government during the 1936-39 civil war.

The inquiry made him many enemies from Spain's political elite.

Lest we forget... the forces of darkness never give up, never go away. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. There's a reason sayings like that are repeated so often that they become cliches.

They're true.

Nitirat's proposal seems to

Nitirat's proposal seems to have put the ultra-royalists into a spin. I noticed PPT's post on some of their responses, which seem coordinated: http://thaipoliticalprisoners.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/a-royalist-conspiracy-supporting-a-draconian-law/ or, although PPT is often blocked in Thailand.

Nitirat is nothing more than

Nitirat is nothing more than a dressed up red shirt rally...

That's a fact.

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2012/01/globalist-lawyer-attends-color.html

Thaksin's lobbyist, Robert Amsterdam, of the Chatham House corporate member, Amsterdam & Peroff, got a front row seat. Sombat, and other less notable UDD leaders were also involved.

Absolutely ridiculous - how stupid do you all think people are? Look at the crowd - it is an indoor red shirt rally.