Unconstitutional regime

In a Prachatai report a day or so ago, and also reported at The Nation and elsewhere, activists have petitioned “Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, Chief of the Royal Thai Police, at the National Police Office in Bangkok” to “release Jatuphat ‘Pai Dao Din’ Boonpattararaksa, saying the court decision to repeatedly reject his bail requests is ‘unconstitutional’.” They refer to the 2017 constitution.

On 5 May 2017, Chalita Bundhuwong, a lecturer at Kasetsart University and political activist Nuttaa Mahattana submitted the letter to the police on behalf of Pai’s father Wiboon Boonpattararaksa. Pai has been detained at Khon Kaen Prison since December 2016 and repeatedly refused bail.

According to the report,

Under Article 34 of the 2017 Constitution, people are free to express their opinions by means of speaking, writing, publishing, and other means subject only to provisions of the laws enacted to protect national security, rights and liberties of other people, and public order, morals and health, the letter states.

It also urged that “Jatuphat should be freed in order to travel to South Korea to accept the 2017 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights, which will be awarded on 18 May in Gwangju, South Korea.”

Jatuphat is accused of violating Article 112 for sharing a BBC Thai article on the then new king on Facebook. Thousands of others shared the same post but he is singled out by the military dictatorship as an example to other activists of the punishment they can expect if they get too outspoken against the regime or monarchy.

Based on past complaints about the repeated unconstitutional actions by the courts in lese majeste cases, it seems doubtful that this unlawful military regime will take much notice.

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