Human rights lawyer hears charges related to anti-military Facebook posts

Anon Numpa on Thursday reported to the police to hear accusations related to his anti-military Facebook posts, most of which involve charges pressed against him by a member of the Judge Advocate General's Office.
 
Anon, a volunteer lawyer for Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), posted five Facebook messages while he and three others were detained and interrogated at Pathumwan Police Station after the group held an anti-coup activity near Siam Square on the evening of Valentine’s Day, 14 February.  
 
Three of the five messages involved Lt Col Burin Thongprapai of the Judge Advocate General’s Office, who has been very active since the coup in arresting several dissidents and lèse majesté suspects. On Valentine’s Day, Burin was also present at the police station and oversaw the police’s work. 
 
The five messages, accused of damaging national security, were: 
  1. Oh my, a member of the Judge Advocate General's Office named Lt Col Burin Thongprapai came to the police station. This guy was once cross-examined by me in a military court. He seemed upset when I asked him about the coup d’état. Oh hell! In court, I can work as an attorney, but at the police station, it’s getting chilly now.  
  2. My military brothers, please be merciful to me. In court, I just do my job because your boss really is a rebel.
  3. Latest update: the police agree to let us go, but the military doesn’t. 
  4. The problem is not that military personnel are bad, but the principle is not right. It’s not right to have martial law which allows the military to exercise arbitrary power. 
  5. If we speak about the investigation today, the police have already resolved to release us, but the military doesn’t want to. This interference by the military is not right in principle. The nature of the activity is against the military. People who are detained are against the military. And me, who examine the role of the military in violating human rights. This is the brutality of martial law. It ruins every principle.   
The police accused Anon of importing into a computer false information which may damage national security under Article 14 (2) of the Computer Crime Act. This is added to the accusations of violating a coup order by holding a political assembly of more than five people, filed against him for organizing the 14 February activity. 
 
 
Anon (centre in white shirt) speaks to reporters after he was released for defying the coup maker's order in the early morning of 15 February.

 

The Computer Crime charges were initially filed by the Judge Advocate General himself. If found guilty, Anon faces up to 25 years in jail and a fine of up to 500,000 baht. 

During the Thursday meeting with police, the police asked Anon to give them the password to his Facebook account, but Anon declined. Anon promised the police that he would submit written testimony within a month.

Working on political prisoner cases since 2010, Anon has represented several defendants/suspects charged under the Computer Crimes Act, related to lèse majesté content. His clients include Chiranuch Premchaiporn, Director of Prachatai, Ampon Tangnoppakul, aka Akong SMS, and Tantawut Taweenarodom, aka Noom Nor Por Chor. He currently represents the red-shirt poet by the name of Rungsira, charged since the coup with lèse majesté and under the Computer Crime Act. 

Anon also starred in an MV mocking junta leader Prayut Chan-o-cha, which was released in early February.