For the sixth time, the Criminal Court has “refused to release a human rights lawyer facing up to 50 years in prison for royal defamation and sedition.” [Actually, as the report later states, he faces 171 years on lese majeste and sedition, but there’s a 50 year sentencing limit.]
On 26 June 2017, the Criminal Court in Bangkok renewed the pre-trial detention period for Prawet. He has now been held for two months, while the police “investigate.”
Of course, the aim is to wear down Prawet, forcing him to plead guilty.
The Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) argued that “the case’s interrogation process is already complete.” It was also argued that “prolonging of the detention is against Article 29 of the 2017 Constitution, which in brief states that suspects of crimes have the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.”
The error here is in thinking that any lese majeste case will be considered on the basis of law. As many cases have demonstrated, law is strikingly absent from these acts of political intimidation and repression.
As expected, the court ignored law and statements by the prosecution that the case was investigated and kept Prawet locked up.
Prawet was one of six people arrested by police and military officers on 29 April 2017. We have no further information on the other five.
The claim now heard is that “Prawet allegedly posted Facebook comments asserting that Thailand should become a republic.”
Thailand should be a republic.