Thai police confirm lèse majesté charge against policewoman

The Thai police ordered a check into a lèse majesté case against a policewoman accused of defaming the monarchy on Facebook, after pressure from ultra-royalists who launched a campaign to bully the policewoman, Thai media reported.

According to Matichon Online and ASTV-Manager Online, Pol Gen Amnart An-atngam, advisor to the Deputy Commissioner General of the Royal Thai Police, on Thursday ordered the Office of Legal Affairs and Litigation of the Royal Thai Police to examine the criminal case under Article 112 against Pol Col Nahathai Thanya, an Associate Professor at the Social Science Faculty of the Royal Police Cadet Academy.

While Matichon Online did not report details of the lèse majesté accusation against Nahatai, ASTV-Manager Online said Nahatai allegedly posted lèse majesté content on Facebook under the name ‘Doungchampa Spencer Isenberg’.

Nahatai was listed in the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order No. 49 along with other prominent dissidents, such as Ji Ungpakorn and Jakrapob Penkair, who were summoned to report to the coup-makers in early June 2014. She was detained under martial law for seven days. 

Since last week several royalist Facebook pages and the royalist Chaopraya News revealed her personal information, bullied Nahatai and called for the authorities to prosecute her. They accused the police lecturer of using the Doungchampa Facebook account to post lèse majesté content. They said she was summoned because she defamed the King on that page, but was released and allowed to continue her civil service work. They called for the authorities to fire her from the civil service and prosecute her.

Although they have never offered any evidence to support the allegation that Nahatai was behind the Doungchampa Facebook account, many people were prompted to believe so and condemned her:

“You b***, no surprise why the police are all bad.”

“NCPO, take care of this immediately, she is a threat to society.”

According to Matichon Online, Pol Lt Gen Sakda Techakriangkrai, Commissioner of the Royal Police Cadet Academy, revealed that Nahathai was suspended from her teaching position at the academy. He added that Nahathai never show inappropriate behaviour while she was teaching at the police academy.

Meanwhile, the Facebook profile ‘Doungchampa’ on Wednesday said that she is in fact a U.S. citizen and has been working for the U.S. government for the last 15 years.

“When the lecturer went to report in to the NCPO, I still posted on Facebook – in real time. How could you say that she is me? Will an innocent person face condemnation and bullying because of such a mistake?” wrote Doungchampa. She did not elaborate what the mistake was.