Anti-junta activist accused of defaming King Rama X freed

A provincial court has freed  a leading member of an anti-junta activist group accused of lèse majesté for sharing a biography of the new King of Thailand published by the BBC Thai.  

At 11:45 am on 4 December 2016, the Provincial Court of Khon Kaen granted 400,000 baht bail to Jatuphat Boonpattaraksa,  also known as Pai Daodin, a key member of the New Democracy Movement (NDM) anti-junta activist group.  

The court reasoned that although the penalty on the case is severe, flight risk is unlikely because the student activist has never tried to jump bail, adding that he has to participate in an upcoming university exam on 8 December. Jai currently faces four charges for participating and organising anti-junta activities.

The police arrested Jatuphat on Saturday morning. Lt Col Phitakphon Chusri, a soldier of the 23rd Military Circle of Khon Kaen Province, had accused him of violating Article 112 of the Criminal Code — the lèse majesté law — for sharing a biography of King Vajiralongkorn, Rama X, published by the BBC Thai.

The article Pai shared was published on the BBC Thai webpage on 2 December 2016. The article has already been shared by almost 3,000 Facebook users.  

The activist told Prachatai that he will not delete the article he posted on his Facebook profile, saying that he did not write any personal comments to accompany the post. He merely shared the last four paragraphs of the article.

Pai (second from the left) reunites with his family in front of the Provincial Court of Khon Kaen on 4 December 2016