While the ruling Pheu Thai Party has disappointed its red-shirt voters over the controversial blanket amnesty bill, the idea of an alternative political party has been discussed more and more among red shirts. As if this was the perfect moment, Thanaporn Sriyakul, who was banned from politics for five years from 2008, has announced an alternative political party which vows to give priority to the amendment of the lèse majesté law. The establishment of autonomy in the restive Deep South is also a campaign highlight. Prachatai talked with him about this dream party of liberals.
Nitimonster, a network of young artists and activists based in Chiang Mai, wants their art exhibition to be provocative, and touch upon the hottest political issues of the day. But what they did not foresee was that their artwork would cause all the staff in the gallery to go on strike, and earn them an f-word curse from the chef in the restaurant opposite on the opening day.
Surachai Danwatthananusorn, a 71-year-old Red Siam faction leader convicted on five lèse majesté charges, was granted a royal pardon on Friday after having been imprisoned in Bangkok Remand Prison since February 22, 2011.
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.
The recent spike in lèse majesté cases seems likely to continue, the majority being brought by private individuals with a variety of motives. An accusation brought by TV talk show host Pontipa Supatnukul has, for example, triggered a chain reaction of similar accusations.
The criminal court today dismissed the case against Yutthapoom (last name withheld), 37-year-old man who was accused by his own brother for violating lèse majesté law, known as Article 112 of the criminal code. The court said the evidence was not substantial.
On 19 August 2013, New Mandala published an article titled “The role of public interest litigation in the quest for democracy in Malaysia.” You are now invited to read this one, slightly different title, and significant differences between countries and cultures vis-à-vis Malaysia.
Next week, the witness hearings in the case of Yutthapoom (last name withheld) will begin in the Criminal Court on Ratchadaphisek Road in Bangkok. Yutthapoom was accused of violating Article 112 while watching television and writing an insulting message on a CD. What makes his case different from many others that have passed through the courts in the years since the 2006 coup is that the alleged criminal acts took place in the private space of his home. The person who filed the complaint against Yutthapoom was his older brother.
Bundit Aneeya, a 73-year-old freelance writer and translator, is to face the final verdict of the Supreme Court in his lèse majesté case in August. He was sentenced to four years in March 2006 for defaming the monarchy by distributing politics-related documents at an academic seminar.
This is Thanthawut’s account of his day of release, originally published in Thai on Prachatai on 12 July 2013. He describes the process he went through on the day of his release and his experience of the pardon. This is a story of Thanthawut’s walk through the series of barred, iron doors that led him from inside the walls of the prison to the world of freedom outside.