In posting on the latest use of the lese majeste law, we have taken to referring to the six abducted and arrested as the Stolen history 6. This is because, as far as we are aware from the reporting, the six are charged for comments relating to the theft of the 1932 revolution plaque that celebrated constitutionalism and people’s sovereignty. Its theft was to deny that and to effectively steal history, replacing it with royalist propaganda.
To steal history, the royalist junta must seek to prevent discussion of the theft of the plaque because this reminds people of the history this ham-fisted bit of vandalism was meant to erase. When black magic is at work in the palace, such dimwitted schemes are hatched. And the junta is left to clean up the mess in an equally ham-fisted and distinctively belligerent manner.
The lese majeste arrests reportedly have to do with posts on Facebook by monarchy critic Somsak Jeamteerasakul. As one report says, since “4 October 2016, Prachatai has received reports of at least six cases of intimidation against people who follow Somsak.”
Three of the victims of this last piece of junta thuggery for the monarchy were identified as Prawet Praphanukul, a human rights lawyer, and Danai Tipsuya and Wannachai, political dissidents. Danai was said to have wanted anonymity, but is named in another Prachatai post. Three other detainees requested to remain unnamed.
When were taken before the Criminal Court it refused to release two detainees despite “bail requests of 790,000 and 900,000 baht…”. We are not aware of the circumstances for the other four, although it seems bail is not being considered.
Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) reported “that some of the detainees were blindfolded after they were arrested by the military who did not present warrants for their arrest or searches of their houses.”
Prawet, abducted by police and military thugs, was held incommunicado, and was only permitted a phone call when he refused to take food.
Prawet is now reported to face 10 counts of lese majeste (up to 150 years in jail), and violations of Article 116 of the Criminal Code (sedition, earlier reported to be three counts and possibly 21 years in jail), and Article 14 of the Computer Crime Act (up to 3 years on each count).
Danai is also accused of lese majeste and sedition.
The six are now detained for an initial custody period of 12 days from 3 to 14 May with the possibility of further renewals by the court.