Prachatai columnist summoned by police for lèse majesté

Suraphot Thaweesak, a university lecturer and Prachatai columnist, has received a summons to report to the police in Roi Et province in the Northeast as a result of a local yellow shirt’s complaint against him for his comments on the Prachatai website.

On 2 Dec, Suraphot received a summons from plainclothes policemen, issued by Roi Et police and dated 22 Nov, to report to Roi Et Provincial Police Station on 7 Dec to answer accusations of lèse majesté.

Suraphot is a lecturer on Buddhism at the Hua Hin Campus of the Rajabhat Suan Dusit University and a regular contributor to Prachatai on the issues of Buddhism, the monarchy and politics under his real name and the pseudonym ‘Nak Pratya Chai Khob’, or ‘Fringe Philosopher’. 

According to Suraphot, he was informed by police that he had been accused over comments he made under his pseudonym on Somsak Jeamteerasakul’s article entitled ‘How will we situate the monarchy in Thai society and politics?’, which was published by Prachatai on 10 Aug 2010. 

The police earlier made inquiries about him at his university on 6 Oct 2010, and he had given them a written explanation at that time.  Nothing had happened until the summons came, he said.

He has asked the police to postpone the appointment to Jan 2012, citing the short notice given by the summons.  This gave him insufficient time for preparation and he had necessary work to do.

The police complaint was lodged by Wiput Sukprasert, a local yellow shirt in Roi Et who uses the alias ‘iPad’ on the Prachatai website.

Meanwhile, on 6 Dec, Anon Nampha said that he had sent letters, as requested by his client Joe Gordon, to Somchai Homla-or, member of the Truth for Reconciliation Commission and the Law Reform Commission, and to the National Human Rights Commission, asking them to attend the court’s verdict on his client’s case at 9 am on 8 Dec at the Criminal Court on Ratchadaphisek Rd to learn about the problems of lèse majesté enforcement in Thailand.



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