We won’t reproduce it in all its terrible detail as Prachatai has a report that is extensive, with more promised on eight more lese majeste victims.
A military court has sentenced eight defendants to 10 years in jail for lese majeste, while two more to six years. Because they pleaded guilty, as almost every defendant now does, the jail terms were halved. All were accused of being members of the allegedly anti-monarchy Banpot Network. We used to call them the Banpot 6, then we changed it to Banpot 8, but this ugly and nasty royalist regime claims to have found more in the network.
Even for PPT, this report is staggering for the capacity of the judicial system under the military dictatorship to lock political opponents up. PPT watches these cases in a pretty detailed manner, but it must be said that the current military regime is the most vicious “protector” of the monarchy that we can think of, ever. It has arrested and jailed scores of people following perfunctory trials.
When PPT began, six years ago, we wanted to raise the issue of lese majeste internationally so that a light was shone on this political “crime.” We could not have imagined that we’d now be facing a regime that uses this political law on a daily basis to torture, jail, threaten and cajole any person considered an opponent of the regime.