January 2017: Continue the Detention of Pai Dao Din – Sentenced Burin to 10 Years 6 Months under Lèse-Majesté – Prosecutor to proceed with Lèse-Majesté cases of those who were subject of Witch Hunting


Period 22 May 2014 
31 January 2017
January 2017
Number of individuals summoned 925 3
Arrests at peaceful demonstrations 590 -
Individuals prosecuted before military court 299 -
Individuals prosecuted before civilian Court 89 -
Number of individuals charged with lese majeste offense (Article 112) 90 -
Number of individuals detained under lese majeste charge in January 2017 51


589 รายงานประจำเดือนมกราคม 2560


Progress of Lèse-Majesté cases were highlight of Freedom of Expression cases in the first month of the year 2017 including the case of Jatupat or ‘Pai Dao Din’, the case of Burin which the Military Court set to render a verdict in this month and the case against a Chonburi male factory worker that happen after the pass away of the late King Bhumibol which the prosecutor already pressed the charge to the court.

Apart from progress of Lèse-Majesté cases, verdict of other two Freedom of Expression cases were also set to be render in this month. One was the case under City Cleanliness and Tidiness Act of Sirawith who was accused to throw post it on the ground during a political activity, another was the case under order of the head of NCPO of Thanet who was accused after taking part in the train ride to Ratchapak activity 

Detained “Pai Dao Din” through the New Year after Sharing BBC Thai Article

On 6 January 2017, the Khon Kean Provincial Court read the Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss Jatupat’s petition which request the Supreme Court to repeal order of the Khonkhean Provincial Court which revoked Jatupat bail. As a result, Jatupat was not able to take a final examination which might effect in the delay of his graduation. 
On 20 January 2017, an inquiry official requested the court to remand Jatupat for another 12 days in the fifth cycle of pre-trial detention. Jatupat’s lawyer submitted petition opposing the pre-trial detention as well as challenge the court's order to proceed the case in camera. The court however ordered to inquire the police regarding Jatupat's pre-trial detention in camera. After the court insisted to proceed the case in camera Jatupat requested his lawyer to leave the courtroom because he did not want to certify the unrighteous procedure. After the inquiry of police official regarding the necessaity of pre-trial detention, the court approved to further detain Jatupat for 12 days.
The objection of Jatupat’s bail petition had some impacts to the society. Groups of academics and activists demanded for his right to bail.
On 30 January 2017, the Thai Academic Network on Civil Rights (TANC) submitted an open letter to the president of the Supreme Court mentioned about the decline of the rule of law and the revocation of Jatupat’s bail without reasonable ground. Activists also held a symbolic demonstration urging the release of Jatupat such as lighting candles in front of the Criminal Court on Ratchada Road and a symbolic demonstration at the skywalk near Ratchaprasong junction.
Jatupat was accused of defaming the king by sharing a news article about the personal life of the present King of Thailand personal lifepublished by BBC Thai website. Prior to this, Jatupat was ever granted a bail request but was later revoked because Jatupat did not delete the alleged article on his Facebook and showed an image deemed by the court as an act of deriding authority of the state.

Progress of Other Lèse-majesté Cases

On 23 January 2017, the Bangkok Military Court scheduled for the deposition examination of Harit and Natthika, two defendants from the case against 8 administrators of the Facebook page ‘We love Gen. Prayuth’ who were additionally charged with Article 112 of the Criminal Code. Both defendants pleaded no guilty, the Military Court scheduled for an evidence examination on 27 March 2017. 

On 26 January 2017, the Kamphaeng Phet Provincial Court ordered to combine 2 cases against Nopparit, the lèse-majesté case and fraud case together into one case because both cases had the same witnesses and evidences. Napparit was accused under Lèse-majesté for falsely claiming connection with Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn in order to gain benefits.

The court initially schedule for the examination of witnesses and evidences on 16 or 17 February 2017. The prosecutor however concerned that he will not recieve original copy of case file from the the Office of the Attorney-General on the date, the court then postponed the schedule to 24 February 2017. Nopparit was detained without being granted any bails since August 2015.

On 27 January 2017, the Bangkok Military Court rendered the verdict of Lèse-majesté case against Burin, a man who was accused to defamed the king in his private facebook chat with other person. Burin was accused to committed 2 different offenses under Lèse-majesté law, the first was his facebook private chat, another was in his facebook status. Burin pleaded guilty to both accusations. 

The Bangkok Military Court sentenced Burin as follow;

For the first offense in his private chat, Burin was sentenced to 7 years in prison. Since Burin has ever been sentenced to prison and was released less than 5 years, his sentence was added up by one-third to 9 years and 4 months imprisonment. Due to his guilty plea Burin's sentence for the first offense was mitigated to 4 years 8 months.
For the second offense on his facebook status, Burin was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Since Burin has ever been sentenced to prison and was released less than 5 years, his sentence was added up by one-third to 13 years and 4 months in prison. Due to his guilty plea Burin's sentence for the first offense was mitigated to 6 years 8 months.
Totally Burin was sentenced to 10 years and 16 months.

Other Lèse-majesté Cases that happen after the pass-away of the late King Bhumibol amidst the Atmosphere of ‘Witch-Hunts’

In January, there were progress of 2 lèse-majesté cases that happened after the pass-away of the late King Bhumibol. Both cases were brought in to light amid atmosphere of the ‘witch-hunts’ or the use of ‘social sanction’ to deal with any person who deemed to act ina on the pass away of the late king.

On 11 January 2017, the Chonburi Province Prosecutor filed Lèse-majesté charge against “K” to the Chonburi Provincial Court. "K" a man from Chonburi province was accused to the offense by posted message that deemed to be a defamation against the late king. Prior to his arrest, “K” was forced to prostrate photo of the late king. Moreover, "K" was reportly beaten by the mob before he was taken to the police.

On 18 January 2017, a public prosecutor scheduled to meet with Amornchotsingh, a man who was accused to said a word that deemed to be an insult against the late king while he had arguement with other person in the shoping mall. The case against Amornchotsingh was on hold at the moment as the prosecutor did not gave an order whether to file a case against him or not and did not schedule the new date that Amornchot need to report himself. Earlier, a few day after the late king pass-away Amornchotsingh went to a shopping mall in a pink shirt. While he was shopping other person who were shoping near by approached him and started an arguement regarding his shirt. The police have to stop arguement between the two sides, Amornchotsingh was informed of  lèse-majesté accusation by the police afterward.

Progress of other Freedom of Expression cases

ides progress of lèse-majesté cases which were the main issue of this month, verdict of other 2 Freedom of Expression cases were also rendered in this month. Apart from the render of verdicts there was also an incident where the police fined activist for used amplifier without permission in their public event.    

On 12 January 2017, the Bangkok South Municipal Court ordered to fined Sirawith in the sum of 1,000 Baht for littering in public place under the City Cleanliness and Tidiness Act. On the date of occurance, Sirawith scattering Post-it paper on the floor of skywalk of BTS Chong Nonsi Station so people could pick up and writtten a message to call for the release of 8 administrators of Facebook page ‘We love Gen. Prayuth’ who were placed under military custody. Eventhough Sirawith clarified that by scattering post it paper on the floor, he had no intention to mess up the place but intend to distribute post it paper. However, the court found him guilty on the round that some paper may left over and made the place dirty.
On 18 January 2017, Chonticha Jangrew, a member of the New Democracy Movement (NDM), was taken to the Lumpini Police Station by police officers and was fined 100 baht for using an amplifier without permission in the activity ‘Anything for Pai’ at the Skywalk near Ratchaprasong junction. 'Anything for Pai' was a symbolic activity that aimed to call for the release of Jatupat or Pai, activist of the New Democracy Movement who was remanded in custody after being accused of Lèse-Majesté law. 
On the same day, the Criminal Court released Natdanai who was charged with being part of criminal network under the section 209 of the Penal Code, the Computer Crimes Act, the Act on Firearms, the Narcotics Act on bail. Natdanai was one among other who was arrested after lots of websites of governmental agencies were hacked by hackers as a symbolic action against the new Computer Crime Act. It should be noted that police did not documented clearly about his wrongdoing on the arrest record. 

On 25 January 2017, the Bangkok Military Court scheduled to examine deposition of Thanet, one of defendants in the case “Train Ride to Ratchapak Park”. Thanet was accused to defying order of the head of NCPO no. 3/2015 which prohibit the political gathering of five person and above. Thanet pleaded the guilty and the court rendered a verdict on the same day. The court sentenced Thanet to 8 months in prison without suspension, due to his guilty plea Thanet's sentence was mitigated to 4 months. Since Thanet was in detained exceeding than the period of his actual sentence the court had ordered to set him free. However, Thanet hadn't been released because he had sedition case pending and the Military Court denied to release him on bail in his sedition case.

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