Red-shirts in Khorat charged with lèse majesté for burning coffin in protest against Prem


On Apr 24, Papatchanan Ching-in, leader of a group of red-shirts in Nakhon Ratchasima province, reported to police after arrest warrant had been issued for her by the provincial court on the previous day.


She and her friends were charged with lèse majesté after they had staged a protest against President of the Privy Council Gen Prem Tinsulanonda, the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), and the government by burning a mock coffin at the province’s Tao Suranari Statue on Apr 7.


On the coffin, they reportedly put a message referring to Prem by a royal prefix to mock what was believed to be PAD leader Sondhi Limthongkul’s slip of the tongue when he routinely appeared on his ASTV on Apr 3, saying, ‘the yellow shirts come out to protect Gen Prem, as […censored to save Prachatai of another possible charge..] is President of the Privy Council’. (see clip in Thai)


According to Nakhon Ratchasima Police Superintendent Pol Col Bunlert Wongwajjana, Col Weerapattarapol Bunchiaw, a military officer attached to Army Region 2 at the province, filed the charge with the police on Apr 9.  On Apr 10, PAD members in the province also filed charges against them for lèse majesté, violations of national security under Criminal Code Articles 113, 114 and 115, and defamation under Article 326.


Denying all the charges, Papatchanan was brought to the provincial court and was granted bail guaranteed by her relative’s public service teacher position.  She is obliged to report to the court on May 6.  Her friends have yet to be identified by the police, said Pol Col Bunlert.


PAD members also filed charge against the police themselves, including Provincial Police Commander Maj Pol Gen Chatkanok Kiewsangsong, Pol Col Bunlert Wongwajjana, Deputy Police Superintendent Lt Pol Col Pichet Orachun, Deputy Police Superintendent Lt Pol Col Chalasin Chalalai and 10 other policemen who were present at the scene for dereliction under Criminal Code Article 157 which carries a penalty of 1-10 years in prison and a fine of 2,000-20,000 baht. 


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