Submitted on Tue, 2014-07-15 13:44
Coup makers, since 1976 coup d’etat, have regularly cited a surge of lese majeste as a prerequisite for overthrowing an elected government. The 2006 coup, when lese majeste was cited as one of the major reasons, marked a surge of the lese majeste cases. The atrocity in April-May 2010, where almost 100 of people were killed during the military crackdown on anti-establishment red-shirt protesters, also contributed to a dramatic rise of lese majeste cases, especially the offences committed online. During the brief period of civil government from 2011-2013, there can be seen a slowdown of the increase in the number of cases under Article 112, or the lese majeste law.
Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, the leader of the 2014 military coup, did not formally reasoned about the defamation to the King on 22 May, but it was later stated in various occasions.
The current coup d’etat marked the period of the highest number of lese majeste prisoners in the Thai history, according to iLaw, an Internet-base rights advocacy group.
iLaw and Prachatai has compiled the cases of the 21 lese majeste suspects/defendants/convicts. Of this, 18 are currently detained in prison. The cases are categorized into the cases taken place before the 2014 coup, cases directly related to the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), and cases taken place after 2014 coup but not directly related to the NCPO.
Please note that in case No. 7 and No. 9, the suspects have been previously detained at the Bangkok Remand Prison, but were later granted bail, but have been released. In case No. 11, he was released after the court read guilty verdict, but the jail term was suspended.
*Last update 10 Septeber 2014
Lese majeste prisoner detained before the 2014 coup.
1 Daranee Charnchoengsilpakul aka ‘Da Torpedo’ has been convicted for giving three public speech defaming the King and has been sentenced to 15 years in jail. Her case has been finalized because. She was now serving her penalty.
2 Somyot Pruksakasemsuk has been sentenced to 10-year imprisonment. He has been found guilty for his role as the editor of ‘Voice of Taksin’ political magazine which published two articles deemed lese majeste. His case is now before the Court of Appeal.
3 Ekkachai H. was convicted and sentenced to three years and four months in jail for selling two materials, deemed lese majeste -- CDs of the documentary, produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and copies of Wikileaks cables. His case is now before the Supreme Court.
4 Kittiton or ‘Kenji’ was sentenced to five years and twenty months in jail. He was convicted for posting messages and pictures deemed lese majeste on the Internet and preparing to post more lese majeste materials on the Internet. His case has been finalised. He has requested for the Royal Pardon.
5 Papassanan or ‘Jedang Korat’ was convicted and sentenced to three years for burning a coffin with a message related to the president of the Privy Council of Thailand on it. Her case has been finalized and she has requested for the Royal Pardon.
6 Yotwarit Chuklom aka Jeng Dokjik, a comedian turned red-shirt activist and politician, was sentenced to two years in jail for his public speech at a red-shirt rally.
Moreover, Katha was convicted and sentenced to two years and eight months in jail for posting rumor on the royal family on an Internet forum. He was only charged with the offence under the Computer Crime Act.
Lese majeste prisoners detained after the 2014 coup and related to the NCPO
7 Apichat P., a graduate student at Thammasat University, who joined a protest against the coup on 23 May 2014 and was arrested. He was the first person that been charged with lese majeste after the 2014 coup. He was detained for seven days before the police pressed the charged under Article 112. He had been detained at the Bangkok Remand Prison for 26 days before released because the court denied the police’s custody petition.
8 Prasit Chaisrisa (Sergeant Prasit), a former Pheu Thai MP, has been accused of delivering a public speech deemed lese majeste on 7 May 2014. Prasit was summoned to report himself then taken to charge and detain. The Court denied his request for bail then he was detained at the Bangkok Remand Prison.
9 Sombat Boonngam-anong, aka Nuling, a red-shirt activist, was summoned by the NCP to report himself. Sombat defied the order by hiding himself from the authorities but still was very active online. He was arrested on 5 June 2014 and detained for 7 days in an army camp. He was charged with sedition and was granted bail for the charge. Later police from northeastern province of Roi-et detained him and accused him of posting picture deemed lese majeste on Facebook. Sonbat was granted bail.
10 Kathawut B., host of a political podcast program, was summoned by NCPO to report himself. He reported himself on 3 June 2014 and was detained for seven days. He was then charged with lese majeste offense for his program. The court denied his request for bail. He is detained at the Bangkok Remand Prison.
11 Chaleaw J., a tailor, was summoned by the NCPO. He reported himself on 3 June 2014 and was detained for seven days. He was then charged with lese majeste for re-uploading audio files, deemed lese majeste on Youtube and 4share, a file sharing website. The court denied his request for bail. He is now detained at the Bangkok Remand Prison. On 1 September, The court found Chaleaw J. guilty on charges under Article 112 of the Criminal Code and Article 14 of the Computer-related Crime Act and sentenced him to three years in jail. Since the defendant pleaded guilty, the sentence was halved and suspended for two years.
12 Sirapop, a writer and poet in the cyberspace with penname ‘Roong Sila’, was summoned by the NCPO to report himself but he did not comply. Sirapop was arrested on 25 June 2014 in northeastern Kalasin province. After being detained for seven days, he was accused of posting messages deemed lese majeste on the Internet. He did not apply for bail and is now detained at the Bangkok Remand Prison.
13 A man whose name is unrevealed, was arrested by the army at his house on 25 June 2014. He did not apply for bail and is detained at Bangkok Remand Prison.
14 Patiwat S., a student activist from northeastern Khon Kaen University, was charged with lèse majesté for taking part in a political play "The Wolf Bride" about a fictional monarch, deemed lèse majesté by the police.
15 Pornthip M., a theatre artist and former leading member of Prakai Fai Karn Lakorn performance arts group, was charged with lèse majesté. She was accused of being involved with the political play "The Wolf Bride" about a fictional monarch, deemed lèse majesté by the police.
Lese majeste prisoners not directly related to the NCPO
16 Yuthasak, a taxi driver, was reported by one of his passenger of defaming the King. The passenger also gave the police the record of their conversation in January 2014. The police from Phayathai police station arrested him from a taxi garage on 2 June 2014. The Court denied his bail request. He was detained in Bangkok Remand Prison.
17 Akaradej, An undergraduate student from Mahanakorn University of Technology, was accused of posting messages deemed lese majeste on Facebook in early 2014. It was his Facebook “friend” which reported the case to the police station in Sutthisan district. The police arrested him at his house in June 2014. The Court denied his bail request. he was detained in Bangkok Remand Prison.
18 Samak, a northern Chiang Rai native, was accused of destroying a King’s picture. The picture was installed at the gate of a village in Toeng district, Chiang Rai. He was arrested on 9 July 2014. He did not request for bail and is now detained at Chiang Rai Prison.
19 Tanat T. aka Tom Dundee, a country singer-turn-red-shirt activist, was accused of delivering public speeches deemed lese majeste at a red-shirt rallies in 2014. The charges came after he was charged with defying the NCPO’s order for not reporting himself to the junta as ordered. He did not request for bail and is detained at Bangkok Remand Prison.
20 A man, of unknown name, was charged with lese majeste after he threw the royal flag into the a river in northern Chiang Mai province in 2010. On 22 May 2014, the prosecutors decided to file the case to the court. Before the coup, the authorities allow the case to be postponed for years because of his health problem. He was granted on bail.
21 A man whose name is unrevealed, was charged for posting messages on facebook in the Northeast Ubon Ratchathani province in 2013. He was prosecuted by the prosecutors on 13 June 2014. He did not apply for bail and is detained at Ubon Ratchathani Prison.