Record on lese majeste cases since 2010 shows that the military court is likely to hold more trials in camera and sentence lese majeste convicts to more years in prison in comparison to the civilian court.
Tuesday is the sixth anniversary of the arrest of Da Torpedo. She is currently serving a 15-year sentence for three alleged violations of the lèse majesté law. During the past 6 years, she has experienced consistent obstacles in accessing justice.
Coup makers, since 1976 coup d’etat, have regularly cited a surge of lese majeste as a prerequisite for overthrowing an elected government. The 2006 coup, when lese majeste was cited as one of the major reasons, marked a surge of the lese majeste cases. The atrocity in April-May 2010, where almost 100 of people were killed during the military crackdown on anti-establishment red-shirt protesters, also contributed to a dramatic rise of lese majeste cases, especially the offences committed online.
The Appeals Court today overturned a previous verdict and delivered a five-year sentence to Noppawan (lastname witheld), an online user who was charged in October 2008 under the Computer Crimes Act and lèse majesté law, or Article 112 of the Criminal Code, for allegedly posting a defamatory comment against the monarchy on the Prachatai.com webboard.
Surachai Danwatthananusorn has been hospitalized since 17 May with high blood pressure and a swollen prostate, resulting in fatigue and loss of appetite, said his wife Pranee.
Daranee Charnchoengsilpakul, who was given a new sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment for lèse majesté in December last year, has decided to appeal her case, according to her lawyer Prawase Praphanukul.
On 15 Dec, the Criminal Court sentenced Daranee Charnchoengsilpakul to 15 years in prison, after the Constitutional Court had ruled that its secret trial of the case was not unconstitutional.
Daranee Charnchoengsilpakul’s brother Kittichai has been arrested and detained at Bangkok Remand Prison since 29 Aug on charges made 12 years ago.
According to the recent ruling of the Constitutional Court in relation to the case of Daranee Charnchoengsilpakul, the answer to this question is yes. While further information about the ruling and its implications will unfold over the next few days and weeks, a few preliminary observations are in order.
Today marks the third anniversary of the incarceration of Daranee Charnchoengsilpakul, alias ‘Da Torpedo’, on charges of lèse majesté. In 2008, Ms. Daranee was charged with making several remarks deemed to be lèse majesté in speeches on the stage of UDD rallies. She was convicted on three counts of insulting the King and Queen and given a six-year sentence on each count – in total, an 18 year sentence. The court did not allow for a suspension of her jail term.