No bail on lese majeste for Facebookers

PPT is late posting on this story that appeared at Prachatai. As usual, however, we want it up as part of the record of the military junta’s witch hunt on lese majeste that has gone on for two years and will continue for the foreseeable future.

On 19 May 2016, a military court in Bangkok refused bail applications by lese majeste “suspects” Harit Mahaton and Natthika Worathaiwich, who are also charged with sedition under Article 116 of the Criminal Code, for allegedly mocking The Dictator, General Prayuth Chan-ocha.

The military court rejected the bail requests that each came with 700,000 baht surety for each of the accused, “ruling that the two might obstruct the investigation process and were flight risks.” This is a common claim by the courts when they more-or-less routinely deny bail to lese majeste suspects. In fact, the courts prefer to keep lese majeste suspects in jail as a form of torture.

As Prachatai explains the case, “Harit and Natthika were two of the eight junta critics abducted by the military on 27 April, and charged under the Computer Crime Act and Article 116 of the Criminal Code for their alleged involvement in a Facebook page” mocking Prayuth. “The eight were released on 10 May, but Harit and Natthatika were immediately re-arrested since, unlike the other six, they were also accused of lѐse majesté for sending private messages deemed [by the royalist authorities] to defame the … monarchy.”

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