Submitted on Mon, 2014-12-29 14:53
Two theatre activists on Monday pleaded guilty to lese majeste charges for taking parts in the stage play “The Wolf Bride”.
Patiwat S. and Pornthip M. pleaded guilty during the deposition hearing at Ratchada Criminal Court on Monday afternoon.
The defendants asked the court to suspend the jail terms because they have never committed crimes, are still young and one of them is studying in a university. The jail terms will likely to damage their future.
The court then ordered a background check in order to rule whether to suspend the jail term or not and scheduled the verdict hearing on 23 February 2015.
Patiwat is accused of starring in the play which centred around a fictional monarch in the role of a Brahmin advisor, while Pornthip was accused of being involved with the play.
The play was performed in October 2013 at Thammasat University, Bangkok, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 14 October popular uprising. The play was organized by former members of the now-defunct Prakai Fai Karn Lakorn, which was affiliated with Prakai Fai left-leaning political group.
Patiwat and Pornthip were arrested on 14 and 15 August respectively and have remained in custody since. The criminal court repeatedly rejected their bail requests.
They were indicted by the prosecutors in late October.
Patiwat was in his fifth year at the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, Khon Kaen University. He is also the Secretary-General of the Student Federation of the North East.
Pornthip is a graduate from Faculty of Political Science, Ramkhamhaeng University. She co-founded Prakai Fai Karn Lakorn in 2010. The group was aimed at making performance arts more accessible to the grassroots. Most of their plays concerned social issues, inequality, and politics. The group was dissolved in 2012 due to differences among group members.
In early June, the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) summoned and detained about ten current and former Prakai Fai members and interrogated them about the play.