The military in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen summoned a woman bullied for posting a picture of her and her friends wearing black around the King’s birthday to teach her how to properly show love to the King. The military is also considering whether to file lèse majesté charges against her.
Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) in Khon Kaen on Monday night summoned Aree K., an employee of Srinagarind Hospital, the teaching hospital of Khon Kaen University, and four other friends for attitude adjustment at the 23* military camp in Khon Kaen Province.
According to Matichon Online, Aree and the four others were detained at the military camp from around 8 pm on Monday to 1 am on Tuesday for so-called ‘attitude adjustment’ in which the military personnel told them to use the royal vocabulary to refer to the revered monarchy and attend ceremonies to honour the monarchy in order to show that they love the King.
Aree and her friends were summoned after Thai royalist internet users widely shared her personal information and bullied her for posting the alleged lèse majesté photo and messages on her Facebook page “Aree Redshirt” around the King’s birthday.
On Monday morning, The People who Protect the Monarchy group filed a lèse majesté complaint against Aree at Lumpini Police Station in Bangkok.
On 5 December, Aree allegedly posted “The fifth of December of every year to me is a day off. Thanks to the owner of the birthday that makes it a day off.”
Another message which seems to be part of a monk’s sermon, allegedly published on the King’s birthday, reads “Death is part of life. Everyone is born and will die. Accept it and life will be happy.” In addition, one message also mentioned that she was sick of people wearing yellow shirts.
Although the messages do not seem to “defame, insult or threaten the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent,” as stated in Article 112, the lèse majesté law, ASTV-Manager Online and many other royalists on Facebook already condemne
d her for insulting the monarchy.
After the detention, Col Jaturapong Bokbon, the deputy director of ISOC, stated that Aree posted the alleged lèse majesté texts and photos, but had no intention of defaming the monarchy. He added that Aree wanted to thank the King for the holiday and she loved the King, but does not like people wearing yellow shirts to legitimize their position and actions by claims about the monarchy.
The ISOC officer further told the press that the photo of them wearing black was taken at a funeral in November and that the four others in the picture were not involved in posting it online.