14 Aug 2013
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.
29 May 2013
On this past 10 April, Voice TV did something very interesting. They sent reporters to five neighborhoods in Bangkok, including Kok Wua, to ask 5 people in each area (my guess is that there may have been an unreported principle guiding the selection of people asked for information, for example, ask only those wearing flowered shirts) what happened on 10 April 2010? What were the causes? And what were their thoughts about what happened? It appeared that only 3 out of 25 people knew or still remembered what happened three years ago.
15 May 2013
In “Red Shirt Academic,” Yukti Mukdawijitra, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Sociology and Anthropology at Thammasat University, tells his own story of growing involved in struggling for accountability, freedom and human rights in the years since the 19 September 2006 coup. Simultaneously, he tracks the discomfort this has caused among his colleagues and others in Thai society who would prefer that he and others were less active. They call him a “red shirt academic,” a title he comes to embrace.
17 Apr 2013
On 28 March 2013, Ekachai Hongkangwan was sentenced to three years and four months in prison for allegedly violating Article 112 by selling CDs which contained an ABC Australia documentary and copies of WikiLeaks documents. He requested bail while he appealed the case, but this request was denied and he is currently behind bars at the Bangkok Remand Prison.
2 Apr 2013
On 12 October 2012, the Constitutional Court released a comment in response to petitions submitted by Somyot Prueksakasemsuk and Ekachai Hongkangwan about the constitutionality of Article 112 of the Criminal Code, which mandates that "whoever defames, insults or threatens the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent, shall be punished with imprisonment of three to fifteen years. The comment addressed whether or not Article 112 was in contravention to Article 3 (2), Article 29, and Article 45 (1, 2) of the Constitution (The full comment can be read here). In response to concerns about each of these provisions, the Constitutional Court ruled that Article 112 did not stand in contravention and was therefore constitutional. Given an earlier commentary issued in response to a petition by Daranee Charnchoengsilpakul, in which the Court noted that a closed trial is compatible with the exercise of the defendant’s rights and liberties, the sum total of the comment was not entirely surprising.
23 Feb 2013
Regarding political conflict in Thailand, many years ago I proposed that the political system (relations of power) is unable to adapt and broaden itself to accept the expansion of a new group of people who I referred to as the lower middle-class. This group of people is vast and needs a space to politically negotiate within the system, because their lives, their worldviews, and their interests have changed.
8 Feb 2013
Ajarn Piyabutr Saengkanokkul made the observation that: "When we speak of French history, why is it that we only think about the French Revolution and the beheading and overthrow of the king? Really, there are many other interesting issues. Not every uprising in French history led to the overthrow of a king. It took a long time to set the system of political life in France. France had to deal with the king, and not until 1899 did it manage to bring him under control and move towards a progressive republic, after becoming a republic in 1870 and going through a gradual process and compromise with royalists.
6 Feb 2013
Craig J. Reynolds, a historian of Southeast Asia at the Australian National University, reviews Tyrell Haberkorn's book Revolution Interrupted: Farmers, Students, Law, and Violence in Northern Thailand, which was launched in late 2011.
7 Jan 2013
Regarding Pitak Siam, Khun Nattawut Saikua opined that there is no clear signal that anti-democratic movements can function in a coordinated fashion. Consequently, it is unlikely they will upend the political field. But they cannot be underestimated.
15 Oct 2012
Thanthawut Taweewarodomkul (also known as “Num” and “Num Red Non”) is a 40-year-old father currently serving a 13-year sentence for alleged violations of Article 112 and the 2007 Computer Crimes Act. In September 2012, he withdrew his appeal petition as part of the process of applying for a pardon. Shortly thereafter, he wrote this letter to his lawyer, Anon Numpa, who then posted it on the website of the Ratsadornprasong Legal Institute.
24 Aug 2012
Originally published on the Facebook page of Poonsuk Poonsukcharoen, lawyer for Amphon (Ah Kong); Republished on Prachatai: สถิตย์ ไพเราะ ความเห็นต่อคดีอากง (ถอดความคำบรรยายเนติบัณฑิตยสภา)
28 Jun 2012
An Oral Statement to the 20th Session of the UN Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC), a non-governmental organization in general consultative status