After lèse majesté complaints were filed by royalist groups in Bangkok and two northeastern provinces against a woman from Khon Kaen who allegedly wore black around the King’s birthday, the Thai authorities have decided to have the case investigated.
According to the Thai Public Broadcasting Service, after a meeting on Tuesday of Internal Security Operations Command, the police, and personnel of Khon Kaen University, the Khon Kaen police will look into the accusations against Aree K., an employee of Srinagarind Hospital of Khon Kaen University.
The total of three separate lèse majesté complaints were filed against Aree by royalist groups in three different provinces after many royalists shared her personal information and bullied her for defaming the monarchy. They accused her of defaming and insulting the King because she posted a picture of herself and four other friends wearing black around the king’s birthday on a Facebook page called “Aree Redshirt”.
On Tuesday, Supat Passakorn, president, and other members of the We Love the King network in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen went to Khon Kaen Police Station to file a lèse majesté complaint against Aree.
On the afternoon of the same day, Weerapong Sithichan, another network member, filed complaints of violating the lèse majesté law or Article 112 of the Criminal Code, and Articles 14, 16, and 17 of the 2007 Computer Crime Act against Aree and her friends at Mahasarakham Police Station.
On Monday, the People who Protect the Monarchy group filed a lèse majesté complaint against Aree at Lumpini Police Station in Bangkok.
The lèse majesté witch-hunt against Aree came after she posted pictures of herself and four others friends wearing black last Thursday, a day before the king’s birthday, which were followed by the message, “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” and on the next day “Death is part of life. Everyone is born and will die. Accept it and life will be happy,”
After the allegedly lèse majesté Facebook picture, messages and Aree’s personal information went viral among royalists, Aree and the four others were taken to a military camp and detained 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.
She was reportedly summoned to the military camp again on Tuesday, but Prachatai has not been able to confirm if she is now under detention or not.