Submitted on Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 05:36 PM
Citing the King’s wishes, a former lèse majesté prisoner has filed a petition urging the junta head to use his absolute power to abolish the lèse majesté law.
On 12 September 2017, Ekachai Hongkangwan filed a petition to junta head Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to invoke Section 44 of the Interim Constitution to terminate Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law.
He said that after Jatuphat Boonpattaraksa, also known as Pai Dao Din, pleaded guilty of lèse majesté last month, the junta head indicated that the King actually does not want any individual to be prosecuted for lèse majesté. Ekachai suggests that junta head follow the King’s wishes by abolishing the law, given that Section 44 already grants the junta the absolute power to do anything.
Ekachai, age 42, was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison for lèse majesté. He was released in November 2015 and now is an activist working with political prisoners and lèse majesté detainees.
He was arrested on 24 June after attempting to place a replica of the plaque commemorating the 1932 revolution at the spot where the original mysteriously disappeared in April.
A government official received Ekachai’s petition and confirmed that he would get back to him within 15 days. Ekachai added that he will closely follow the progress of his petition.
A day after Pai Dao Din pleaded guilty and received a two and a half year jail term on 15 August, the junta head said that the monarchy has always been kind to those who commit lèse majesté and wished to see no prosecution over such issues.
“Nowadays, the monarchy has always shown mercy and ordered that [he] doesn’t want people to be punished for such matters.” said Gen Prayut “The King has always given royal pardons and amnesties but there are still people trying to do it [commit lèse majesté]. I don’t understand. Has the monarchy ever done anything to cause trouble?”
Ekachai Hongkangwan (Photo from Matichon)