Apart from the problem of interpreting the legal meaning of the term ‘defame’ in Article 112, the other problematic term is ‘heir-apparent’. This has been a delicate issue for many years. Documents that will confirm this issue in fighting a case be used for the defense are extremely difficult to access. What is strange is that this is still the case even when we have entered the reign of King Rama X. Prachatai has compiled lèse majesté cases that deal with the status of Crown Princess Sirindhorn.
In what follows below, I offer a concise picture of the dynamics and significance of Article 112 over the preceding decade. Some of the sources cannot be fully cited as it may harm those who provided information or defendants in ongoing cases.
The Thai word “ja” has become popular in Thailand as a criticism of the police, following the arrest of an activist’s mother in early May on a lèse majesté charge. The case against her is seen as politically motivated and has sent Thailand’s human rights record to a new low. No evidence has been unveiled to the public other than the word “ja,” non-committal, colloquial ‘yes’ Thai, she said during a Facebook conversation. Assistant Professor Sawatree Suksri, expert on criminal law from Thammasat University, and core member of Nitirat, explained whether this could really deemed lèse majesté.
Rungsira, pen-named Sirapop, has fighted the lèse majesté case in the military court for over two years. His story is littled known to the media. When he attorney asked if there were another coup and he were again summoned: “Would you go?” He replied: "If there were another coup and I was again summoned, I promise you: I would not go!”
Once I began to write, I realized that selecting the topic of the lives of the ‘beloved’ of Article 112 prisoners was not a very good idea. Relationships are never an easy matter — they are complicated and very personal. These relationships have been lacerated and seriously wounded by politics. My questions unearthed and scattered dust from the painful past and it was as if the retelling served to hammer in the injustice of what has happened. Simple questions about the future became filled with profound emotion.
On 28 December 2015 a military court sentenced Tanitsak to eight years imprisonment, reduced to four years in light of his guilty plea. A defendant in the lèse majesté case concerning the distribution of Banpodj audio programs, Tanitsak, known as Neng Jungnup, is 50 years old.
Phongsak S., the person using the Facebook name “Sam Parr,” is the most recent conviction by the military court under Article 112, the so-called lèse majesté law. On August 7, 2015, he was sentenced to imprisonment for 60 years on the basis of six posts on popular social media site Facebook.
Oh (not his real name) is in his 30s. Since June 2014, just shortly after the Coup, he has been imprisoned at Ubon Ratchathani Central Prison for one an half years. His case happened and ended silently. His life behind bars has also been going on silently.
Thanat Thanawatcharanon aka Tom Dundee was recognized as a celebrity for more than a decade before he disappeared from the media. Recently he re-appeared after being accused of defaming the monarchy and violating orders of the military government.
Tiensutham S. , aka Yai Daengdueat, was sentenced to 50 years in jail for posting lèse majesté content on Facebook. The jail term was halved due to confession. Yai's wife -- Kai -- was also arrested and interrogated by the military. Kat tells the story since the arrest which she says there is no days without tear.