Rung Sila is the penname of a poet and cyber activist whose first name is Sirapop. At the time of his arrest on lese majeste charges, he was aged 51. He refused to plead guilty.
He was apprehended on 24 June 2014 while on his way to a neighboring country to wait for his application for “Person of Concern” status to be processed by the UN refugee agency.
Rung Sila’s poems and his online articles and comments are passionate and anti-establishment. He had urged a people’s movement to move beyond the official red shirts, the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship.
Not only was he denied bail several times but the military court decided to hold a secret trial.
During his trial, Rung Sila had criticized the judiciary for its connivance with authoritarian military rule.
A military court delivered two years suspended sentence on the lese majeste charge on 25 November 2016. It reduced this by a third for useful testimony. Thus he was given an 8-month suspended sentence and a 18,000 baht fine.
Rung Sila has already been in jail for two years and five months.