Red-shirt figure accused of lèse majesté and rebellion

The leader of an ultra-royalist group has accused a left-leaning red-shirt political activist of defaming the monarchy and of rebellion against the Thai state.   

Maj Gen Rientong Nan-nah, the leader of the ultra-royalist Rubbish Collection Organization (RCO), filed a lèse majesté complaint against Surachai D. (aka. Surachai Sae Dan), an anti-establishment red-shirt figure, at the police’s Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) on Tuesday.

Apart from this complaint, Surachai has faced at least six lèse majesté cases. All of them are related to his speeches at various red-shirt gatherings across the country between 2008 and 2011. Surachai was found guilty in five cases and was sentenced to imprisonment for a total of 12 years and six months He was granted a royal pardon and was released in late 2013 after being imprisoned for nearly three years since early 2011.

Surachai, a key redshirt leader who always appears with an iconic red star communist-style cap  

Rientong accused Surachai of producing online programmes attacking and defaming the revered Thai monarchy, thereby violating Article 112 and Article 14 of the Computer Crime Act for importing illegal content into a computer system.

Moreover, Rientong also filed complaints against Surachai under Articles 113 and 116 of the Criminal Code for alleged rebellion and instigating rebellion respectively.

The Thai state views threats and insults against the Thai monarchy as a threat to national security.

A former member of the now-defunct Communist Party of Thailand, Surachai usually appeared at red-shirt gatherings with communist red star cap. He founded the Red Siam group, a left-leaning faction of the red-shirt movement. He reportedly left Thailand after the 2014 coup.