As we know from a previous case, under the royalist judiciary, the lese majeste law has been applied to the alleged defamation of dead kings.
We assume this is why the authorities have gone on a lese majeste arrest spree for those considered to have defamed the late king since he died.
Prachatai reports that “police have so far prosecuted 12 people for lèse majesté since King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s death on 13 October…”.
The police commander went on:
On the prosecution of online lèse majesté offenders, I’ve urged local authorities to closely follow the cases since 13 October. So far, officers have prosecuted 12 suspects under Article 112 (the lèse majesté law)…. Eight arrest warrants have been issued. Two suspects have been arrested. And charges will soon be filed against two people. For offenders living abroad, we’re asking for cooperation [from other countries].
As expected, while the regime has called for an end to royalist mob violence against those accused of lese majeste, The Dictator blamed the victims:
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has warned people to refrain from upsetting those who are still mourning the passing of … the King…. He said insensitive remarks and actions could provoke strong that could lead to physical assaults….
The now monochrome nation cannot, according to The Dictator, allow the expression of any divergence from palace and royalist propaganda. The junta did warn “against any attempts to get the monarchy embroiled into any conflict” and warned against vigilantism. Yet its “Justice” Minister has encouraged it.
The junta’s view is that those who “think differently” may not express their views, and “they should keep their opinions to themselves.”