On the junta’s lese majeste hostage I

Yesterday we posted on the arrest warrant issued for Patnaree Chankij the mother of activist student Sirawith Seritiwat has been charged with insulting the monarchy. Khaosod reports that Patnaree has now reported to police and that she is held in custody.

What is she charged with? According to her lawyers accounts, the police say she is guilty of lese majeste silence.

Khaosod puts it this way:

Patnaree Chankij, the mother of a prominent student activist, never sent a single message insulting the monarchy, police said Friday evening as they denied her release.

However, it was the fact she received such messages but made no effort to reprimand their sender for which she will be tried on a royal defamation charge, Patnaree’s lawyer told reporters at police online crimes headquarters in the first known instance of someone charged under such reasoning.

There’s a lot wrong with this. There is no established “fact” in this. There is a brazen and politically-motivated allegation made. As in some previous cases, the regime is manufacturing a lese majeste case that has no basis in law. Even if one rejects the law as it stands, there is nothing in it that condemns silence. Rather, the law is meant to maintain silence.

In this sense, there is no “reasoning” involved in this allegation. It is a fabrication and a concoction.

According to police, Patnaree “was contacted via Facebook chat by activist and lese majeste suspect Burin Intin, who sent her messages that were deemed insulting to the monarchy…. Although Patnaree did not respond to those messages, her failure to reprimand Burin meant she condoned the sentiment, and therefore counted as lese majeste…”.

Patnaree has denied the charges, but as they are brought to silence her son and as a warning to all political activists, we can expect the junta to demand that its puppet judiciary make a case out of this nothingness. The gangsters have a hostage.

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