Military court detains two junta critics, their supporter for lѐse majesté

The Military Court has detained two of the eight junta critics and another political dissident charged under the lѐse majesté law.

The Military Court of Bangkok at 3:30 pm on Wednesday, 11 May 2016, granted custody permission to the police to detain Harit Mahaton and Natthika Worathaiwich, suspects of offences under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lѐse majesté law.  

The two are among the eight abducted junta critics, who charged with sedition for allegedly being involved with Facebook pages that mock Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, such as a Facebook page called ‘We Love Gen Prayut’.

Unlike, the other six, however, they are also accused of lѐse majesté for for sending messages deemed defamatory to the Thai Monarchy in their private Facebook chat.

According to Winyat Chatmontree, a defence lawyer of the two, the court denied granting bail for the two, citing flight risk, the possibility that they might attempt to distort evidence and that they have allegedly committed serious offences.

Up to now, the two have remained under custody for more than two weeks. They were abducted by the military and taken to a military base on 27 April before military court issued arrest warrants for them one day after their abduction.  

On the same day, the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) reported that the Military Court of Bangkok for the second time granted custody permission to the police from the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) to detain Burin Intin, a suspect under Article 112 of the Criminal Code and Article 14/3 of the Computer Crime Act, a law on the importation of illegal online content.

Burin is accused of defaming the monarchy via Facebook.

He was arrested by the police for gathering with 15 other activists to show solidarity with the abducted junta critics on 27 April. He was then taken from the police by the soldiers and detained at a military base before the Military Court granted the first custody permission to the authorities to detain him.

The court reasoned that the TCSD police has not completed the investigation and interrogation process on the case as yet and that defence lawyer on the case has no money to submit a bail request for the suspect.

The three lѐse majesté suspects will be detained at Bangkok Remand Prison and Central Women’s Correctional Institute for 12 days with the possibility of their custody permission being renewed.