The content in this page ("A Lèse Majesté Witch-hunt" by Sarayut Tangprasert) is not produced by Prachatai staff. Prachatai merely provides a platform, and the opinions stated here do not necessarily reflect those of Prachatai.

A Lèse Majesté Witch-hunt

Note: This piece was a response to the 10 February release and dismissal of charges against Jaruwan, Anon, and Chat, three people accused of creating a Facebook book page with lèse majesté content and violating Article 112 and the 2007 Computer Crimes Act. Jaruwan was arrested on 16 February and Anon and Chatchai on 17 February; they were held without bail. They are the first three people to be have the charges against them dropped by the Military Court. See the information compiled about this case by iLaw as well.trans.

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I am speaking about the culmination of the cases of Jaruwan, Anon, and Chat, who were arrested by soldiers and then presented during a big press conference in which they were accused of making posts with lèse majesté content on Facebook. They (especially Jaruwan) were attacked by people who cursed their births and their forefathers and expressed satisfaction at their detention.

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They were held for a total of three months under martial law and the authority of the investigation officials who requested their remand.

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In the end, evidence of wrongdoing could not be found. They had to be released. (How could evidence be found? All three work and live from hand to mouth. How could they post messages online when some cannot write and can barely read?)

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Jaruwan’s final monthly wage from the fish sauce factory where she worked in Chonburi was 4,200 baht/month.

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As usual. The soldiers who arrested her gained results. The media sold her arrest as news. The readers condemned her.

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After condemning her, her attackers felt their life’s worth in this country increase. The very best …

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When their worth is depleted, they are unsavory. When the virtuous ones stuff their lives into their virtuous mouths and bite down, there is no flavor. The virtuous ones tear them apart and swallow repeatedly to sweeten the taste. The witch-hunt can find their successors without difficulty.

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The state performed its duty to release them. Quietly.

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There was no “dog” who held a press conference to accept responsibility for arresting the wrong people. They were arrested as scapegoats!

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There was no newsroom editor interested in reporting this end to the story.

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They pierced and pilloried until they were satisfied. Then they deemed it time to stop and forgot about it.

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Small, worthless grains of sand are discarded upon the expansive and beautiful earth. What will their lives be like from now on? No one is interested in them. If their names have been turned to mud, who will want to hire them to work?

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Not too long from now, state security officials will stop by to chat at their homes (and may not even be willing to part with money to treat them to coffee).

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Tell those who create security for the distorted system to shut up! Tell them to stop talking! And everything will end well!!!

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All of the good people will hunt for new prey. The high-level soldiers will cheerfully hold press conferences of arrests of new victims. Reporters will continue to faithfully perform the duty of reporting the truth that is prepared and placed in front of them in its entirety.

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And it is for certain that a speck of gravel, a grain of sand still remains without worth.

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In a society in which people are unequal.

Source: ปากหมาหาเรื่อง: คดี112 ของจารุวรรณและพวก

 

About the author: Sarayut Tangprasert is the editor of the opinion section of Prachatai Thai website. He also helps reporting on political prisoners. 

Translated by Tyrell Haberkorn