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.
France has granted refugee status to Thai political refugees and lèse majesté suspects who fled Thailand after the 2014 coup d’état. According to the BBC Thai Service, the French government on 12 June granted refugee status to Saran Chuichai, aka Aum Neko, a renowned Thai transgender student activist, who fled to France shortly after the coup d’état on 22 June 2014.
On 18 May, the National Human Rights Commission’s Subcommittee on Civil and Political Rights held a discussion on the lèse majesté law, attended by academics, activists and individuals affected by the law.
Lese majeste allegations came into focus again yesterday, as foreign media become more interested in the growing number of charges and about what's really happening in Thailand.
Critic of the monarchy Somsak Jeamteerasakul was warmly cheered by a hundred supporters when summoned this morning to Nang Lerng Police Station to hear a lèse majesté charge regarding his response to Princess Chulabhorn’s comments.
Somsak Jeamteerasakul reported to the police with many supporters and reporters present at the police station. He denied the lèse majesté charge and said that he will fight the case. An air force officer who faces a similar charge was also there to give him moral support.
I have been involved in many lèse majesté cases with different outcomes and under different circumstances. My involvement has been as a defendant, a defense witness, a publisher, and as an organizer of discussions, and as someone who has campaigned against the use of lèse majesté. On Wednesday, 11 May, when Professor Somsak Jeamteerasakul goes to hear the charges brought against him, 11 May, it will mark a turning point for lèse majesté. This is the case for the following reasons:
A Thai history professor who is outspoken on issues concerning the monarchy now faces a complaint of lèse majesté filed by the Royal Thai Army, the independent news website Prachatai.com reported.
The latest signal of the worsening atmosphere of freedom of expression in Thailand is the summoning of Dr. Somsak Jeamteerasakul to the police station to hear charges filed against him by the Army.
The UDD’s moves which ‘threaten, offend and violate’ the monarchy result from the ‘Lom Chao’ (overthrow the monarchy) movement which has been widely spreading its influence and dominating the core leaders, said a presenter of a news programme on the government-owned National Broadcasting Services of Thailand on 2 May.