The military dictatorship’s jailing of Jatuphat Boonpattaraksa (or Pai) is an example of how the junta engages in selective political repression.
The first political activist to be charged and jailed on lese majeste charges during the reign of the loathsome King Vajiralongkorn, his arrest was a act of political repression, singling out Pai among thousands who shared a BBC Thai story about the king. Pai has now been held in jail for more than six months awaiting what will surely be a conviction.
Of course, the “authorities” want him to plead guilty so that they can jail him without a trail.
The junta’s regime is interested in repression and uses the law as a gangster uses a gun.
In this story of repression, double standards and manipulation of the law, as The Nation reports, international activists are now working to bring attention to Pai’s sad and sorry case.
These activists have launched a campaign called “Bring the World to Pai” to tell the stories of Jatuphat and other political prisoners, while telling the world about the political situation in Thailand under the military dictatorship.
The brave young activists, “identified as Cat, Chris, Austin, Jay, and Effy from Australia, England, Canada, Malaysia, and Vietnam” actually “visited Pai at Khon Kaen Central Prison on Friday.”
Pai was said to be “in good spirit and told his international friends, with one of his fists up in the air, to encourage young people everywhere to carry on their struggle for freedom and democracy.”
This expression of “solidarity with Thai activists opposed to the military-backed regime” puts the conference delegates at the International Conference on Thai Studies in Chiang Mai to shame. So far, PPT hasn’t heard a peep from these academic tourists about the grave political situation or about political prisoners in Thailand. There’s still time for some kind of statement from them, but so far it has been silence, which the junta must appreciate.