Military arrests activist campaigning against lèse majesté law

The military has detained at a military base a senior activist who has campaigned against the lèse majesté law.

Kimpiew Saetang told Prachatai that at 6 am on 2 July 2017 about 10 soldiers arrested Charoenchai Saetang, his 60-year-old brother, at his home in Dao Khanong Subdistrict of Bangkok, and took him to the 11th Military Circle in Bangkok.

He reported that the soldiers did not present any arrest warrant, but cited their absolute authority under Section 44 of the Interim Constitution. They also confiscated the mobile phones of the two brothers and Charoenchai’s laptop.

Charoenchai used to work as an assistant to the Tourist Police and for the Pearl S. Buck Foundation before he became a human rights and political activist.

He has been active in campaigning for the abolition of Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law.

Kimpiew told Prachatai that his family will visit Charoenchai at the 11th Military Circle today.

Article 112 of Thailand’s Criminal Code imposes jail terms of three to 15 years for each count of defaming, insulting, or threatening the King, the Queen, the Heir to the throne, or the Regent.

At least 109 people have been arrested under Article 112 since the 2014 coup d’état.

Charoenchai Sae-Tang