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.
The Criminal Court has detained six people accused of royal defamation for sharing a Facebook post of an academic in self-imposed exile who the junta has blacklisted. On 3 May 2017, the Criminal Court on Ratchadaphisek Rd., Bangkok, granted the police permission to detain six people accused of violating Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law. They were arrested by police and military officers separately in different parts of the country in late April.
Labour activists in South Korea and Indonesia have displayed banners to campaign for the release of Somyot Prueksakasemsuk. On 1 May 2017, International Labour Day, many labour activists and others in South Korea and Indonesia displayed banners at labour rallies in support of Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, a long-time labour activist imprisoned for lèse majesté.
The Thai military have arrested a group of people in southern Thailand who are allegedly involved in a network making false claims about the monarchy for financial gain. On 27 April 2017, soldiers arrested Nonglak B., a radio host from Thung Song District of Nakhon Si Thammarat Province after several individuals were arrested and taken to a local military base a day earlier for interrogation.
The Appeal Court has sentenced a man accused of defaming the monarchy on Facebook to six years’ imprisonment. On 27 April 2017, the Appeal Court confirmed the verdict of the Court of First Instance in the lèse majesté case of Piya J., a 47 year-old programmer. In January 2016 the lower court sentenced him to nine years’ imprisonment with the sentence reduced by one third.
On a Saturday night in mid-September 2013 I was sat at table in a deserted restaurant in an exclusive beachside resort in Phuket. My companions were graduate students and researchers from Chulalongkorn University and Japan’s prestigious Kyoto University.
Chiang Rai Military Court has scheduled the first examination of witnesses in a case against an ophthalmologist indicted for defaming then Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn in June. On 11 April 2017, the Military Court of northern Chiang Rai Province held a preliminary hearing for Sarawut (surname withheld due to privacy reasons), 33, an ophthalmologist accused of offences under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns a Thai government ban, imposed yesterday, on any online contact or interaction with three prominent critics of the regime – a foreign journalist and two academics – and urges all Facebook users beyond the government’s reach to share content from the Facebook accounts of these three critics. The ban’s three targets are Andrew MacGregor Marshall, a well-known Scottish journalist who used to be based in Bangkok, and Thai academics Somsak Jeamteerasakul and Pavin Chachavalpongpun.
The posterchild of the democracy movement in Thailand, detained for lèse majesté, has won the prestigious Gwangju Prize for Human Rights. The selection committee of the South Korean May 18 Memorial Foundation announced that Jatuphat ‘Pai’ Boonpattararaksa, a law student and key member of the New Democracy Movement (NDM), is the winner of the 2017 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights.