The Criminal Court has refused to release on bail a human rights lawyer facing up to 50 years in prison for royal defamation and sedition. The Criminal Court on Ratchadaphisek Rd., Bangkok, on 11 May 2017, renewed the detention period for Prawet Praphanukul, a human rights lawyer accused of violating Articles 112 and 116 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law and the sedition law.
The Army Cyber Centre (ACC) claims to have taken down 435 websites committing lèse majesté since October last year, when King Bhumibol passed away.
The Criminal Court has detained a 53-year-old Facebook user accused of lèse majesté after he was arrested by the military and held for six days in a military base. On 11 May 2017, the Criminal Court on Ratchadaphisek Rd., Bangkok, remanded in custody Ekarit (surname withheld due to privacy concerns), a 53-year-old man accused of violating Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law.
The Criminal Court has refused to release a lecturer arrested for sharing a Facebook post written by an academic blacklisted by the junta, despite the defendant promising almost one million baht as surety for bail. On 9 May 2017, the Criminal Court on Ratchadaphisek Rd., Bangkok, denied a bail request with a 927,000 baht surety for a university lecturer who requested anonymity accused of violating Article 112 of the Criminal Code, lèse majesté law.
A provincial court has once again refused to release Pai Dao Din, making it impossible for the activist to attend a human rights award ceremony in South Korea. On 8 May 2017, the Provincial Court of Khon Kaen denied a bail request with 700,000 baht surety for Jatuphat ‘Pai’ Boonpattararaksa, a law student and key member of the New Democracy Movement (NDM).
The number of individuals arrested on lèse-majesté charges since the May 2014 military coup has passed the 100 mark, FIDH and its member organizations Union for Civil Liberty (UCL) and Internet Law Reform Dialogue (iLaw) said today. “In less than three years, the military junta has generated a surge in the number of political prisoners detained under lèse-majesté by abusing a draconian law that is inconsistent with Thailand’s international obligations,” said FIDH President Dimitris Christopoulos.
Political activists have urged the police to release Jatuphat ‘Pai Dao Din’ Boonpattararaksa, saying the court decision to repeatedly reject his bail requests is ‘unconstitutional’. On 5 May 2017, Chalita Bundhuwong, a Kasetsart University lecturer, and Nuttaa Mahattana, an independent political activist, submitted a letter to Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, Chief of the Royal Thai Police, at the National Police Office in Bangkok.
Facebook has complied with a request from the junta to restrict user access to a video posted by an exiled critic of the monarchy, citing Thailand’s newly amended Computer Crimes Act. On 4 May 2017, the exiled academic Somsak Jeamteerasakul announced on his Facebook page that he had received an email from Facebook informing him that one of his posts violates Thailand’s 2007 Computer Crimes Act (CCA).
The United Nations Human Rights Office for South-East Asia (OHCHR) urges the Thai Government to halt the practice of arbitrary detention of political activists, and to immediately release six people recently charged with criticising authorities. On 29 April 2017, two political activists - Mr. Danai Tibsuya, a former military officer from Chiang Mai, and Mr. Prawet Prapanukul, a Bangkok-based lawyer - were arrested and detained by the military under the lese-majeste law for criticising the King on Facebook.
The Criminal Court has refused to release two detainees accused of lèse majesté for sharing the Facebook post of an academic blacklisted by the junta. On 4 May 2017, the Criminal Court on Ratchadaphisek Rd., Bangkok, denied bail requests of 790,000 and 900,000 baht for two detainees accused of violating Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law.