July 2015: Banpodj Network convicted, the army visited houses of activists who were charged with section 116 of the Criminal Code

 

Period 22 May 2014 - 31 July 2015 July 2015

Number of individuals summoned or visited by military

779 12
Number of individuals arrested 476 1
Arrests at peaceful demonstrations 209 -
Individuals prosecuted before the military court 144 19
Individuals prosecuted before the civilian court 46 -
Individuals under investigation or prosecuted with lese majeste crime (article 112) 53 -
 

 

Defamation and Computer Crime Act Case Updates

14- 16 July 2015 - The Phuket Provincial Court scheduled for the examining of witnesses in Phuket Wan case. The court allocated 1 day for the examination of witnesses for the prosecution and 2 days for the examination of witness for the defendant. It was worth noticing that the prosecutor did not presented in the court during the examination of witnesses for the defendant hence, the cross examination was not performed. 
 
Chutima, a reporter of Phuket Wan testified before the court 15 July 2015 that she quoted phase according to the statement of accusation in her article from Reuters but she wasn’t the one who uploaded the article in to computer system. Moreover, before making a reference, she also called the Royal Thai Navy as well as the Marine Police to cross check the fact. After the court concluded witness examination, the court set to read a verdict on 1 September 2015
 
 
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The defendants and the legal team of Phuketwan case posing in front of the Phuket Provincial Court.
 
20 July 2015 - The Bangkok South Criminal Court scheduled for a preliminary hearing of the Criminal Defamation and Computer-related Crime Case between the Natural Fruit and Andy Hall . After concluded the with examination of witnesses, the court set to announce its decision whether to proceed with the case or not on 21 August 2015, at 9.00 AM     
 
Cases against 3 individuals who defied summon order of the NCPO were proceed in this month. 
 
6 July 2015 - Siripob defied summons case,The Bangkok Military Court examined Lt. Col. Burin Thongprapai, the first witness for the prosecution, in this examination the defense lawyer raised questions concerning the authorities that justify the summoning of individuals by NCPO. When the lawyer asked Lt.Col. Burin concerning the government system of Thailand? Lt.Col. Burin replied "A Democratic regime that did not came through the election."
 
17 July 2015 - Jittra defied summon order case,  The Bangkok Military Court scheduled to examine witness for the prosecution. An army personnel who responsible for the registration of individual who came to report to the NCPO testified that Jittra was had been summoned but failed to report on time. Her friend however showed up to handed Jitra's letter afterward. The letter stated that Jittra was oversea at the time and could not went to report on time but she had no intention to defy the order
 
21 July 2015 - Worajet : Defying NCPO order, The Bangkok Military Court postponed the witness examination because Col. Songwit, a witness was on duties and could not testify before the court on the date. The prosecutor however insited that he need to examine the witness, he then request the court to reschedule this proceeding.  
 

The court convicted defendants of the Lanna seperation banner case under incitement, eyes on the increasing of cases 

7 July 2015 - The Bangkok Military Court dismissed the petition for the second pre-detention of 14 New Democracy Movement activists given that there was no reason for further detention. All of activists were released in the morning of 8 July 2015 unconditionally.   
 
8 August 2015 Rinda, a female aged 44  was accused to write a message on Facebook claiming that Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha and his wife transferred money in the sum of 10 billion Baht to Singapore. Plaincloth officials arrested Rinda at her house. She had been detained at the 11th Infantry Regiment King's Bodyguard for 1 night and was taken to the to the Technology Crime Suspension Division (TCSD) in the next morning.  
 
Rinda was chargeed with section 14(2) of the Computer-related Crime Act, and Section 116 of the Criminal Code. Rinda’s relatives filed a bail petition to the court with 100,000 Baht cash deposit. The Bangkok Military Court however dismissed the pettition. Rinda was helded in custody for 12 days before the court approved her bail petition on 21 July 2015 during the second phase of pre-trial detention.
22 July 2015 - Lanna Seperation Banner case The Chiang Rai Provincial Court convicted defendants of the case under section 116 of the Criminal Code to 4 years in prison each. The sentence was later mitigated by quater because testimony of the defendants benefit to the proceeding, each defendants will be sentence to 3 year in prison each. The court also ordered to suspend the prison sentence for the period of 5 years. 
 
The verdict can be summarized as follow. The installation of a banner with such message during the period where the people in the nation were divided can stir public order. Moreover, the message called for the seperation of Lanna State was also deemed to be an act of resistance. 
 

Lese Majeste cases: the Military Court ruled over the case against a case against Banpodj network and started to examined testimonies and witnesses of many case.

7 July 2015 - The case of Tara who alledgly posteda sound clip of  Banpodj on a website. The Bangkok Military Court scheduled for testimony. Tara asked the court to postpone because he hadn’t received the formal accusation from the lawyer through the prison. The court rescheduled it on 7 August 2015.
 
8 July 2015 - The case of Sasiwimol who alledgly posted messages and pictures defaming the king. Chiang Mai Provincial Military Court scheduled for examining evidence. The defendant’s lawyer submitted witnesses but no documentary evidence. When acknowledged that Sasiwimon had no documentary evidence, the judge and court official discussed with the lawyer to stay of examining evidence. They reasoned that it wasn’t allowed to examine only the plaintiff’s evidence. But the lawyer insisted that there was no such thing in the legal system, and the court had to examine the evidence.
 
9 July 2015 -  Banpodj Network’s Case. The Bangkok Military Court scheduled to hand down a verdict. In the court room, there were more than 20 relatives of the defendants and the press wait to observe the proceeding. The court read a verdict without repeating a statement of accusation sentenced the 1st and 2nd defendants, and 7th – 12th defendants (Paopan, Pana, Hatsadin, Kornrat,Thiprachaya, Nongnoot, Witthaya, and Kornwan) to 10 years in prison under Article 112 of the Criminal Code. Since all 8 defendants pleaded guilty, the sentenced halved to 5 years.
 
The 5th and 6th defendants (Saichon and Saifon) were sentenced to 6 years in prison for assited other 8 defendants committed an offense against the law. Since both pleaded guilty, the sentence halved to 3 years.
 
The 3rd and 4th defendants, Taweesin and Kwanjai, pleaded not guilty. The court dismissed them from the case and ordered the military prosecutor to file new case within 15 days. The court also ordered to remanded both defendant in custody await for a new case to be file. 
 
10 July 2015 - The case of Samak who alledgedly damaged portriat of the king installed at the entrance of a villeage in Chiang Rai. The Chiang Rai Military Court scheduled to examine witnesses for the prosecution including Samak's ex-wife and a former village chief. Samak however told his lawyer that he wish to plead guilty so the case can be closed on the date. Samak felt upset because the court had rescheduled the proceeding several time and the trial took too long. Samak's lawyer informed the court official prior to the proceeding. The judge asked Samak whether to he wish to plead guilty or not, Samak pleaded guilty. The court then cancled witness examination and scheduled to hand down a verdict on 6 August 2015.
 
28 July 2015 - The case of Unchan, a woman who alledgely shared Banpodj's sound clip on her facebook. The Bangkok Military Court scheduled for deposition examination and ordered to proceed behind the close door. It was reported later that Unchan pleaded no guilty, the court set to examine witnesses on 29 October 2015.

 

The activities interfered or banned occurred at home and abroad. 

4 July 2015 -  4 – 5 uniformed military officials seek to see content of an academic seminar titled, “Gender & LGBTIQs” at CMU Art Center, Chiang Mai University. 
 
16 July 2015 Matichon Online reported the interview of Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a research fellow of the University of Freiburg, for being intervened between an academic activity. Pavin said that “I set out for Frankfurt from Freiburg early in the morning. Just minutes before my lecture started, I was informed by the organiser that they had canceled my lecture, because the Thai Consulate called and asked to. They threatened to cut financial support from the Consulate should the organiser allowed my lecture to take place”.  
 

Summons and a visit to activists' houses

1 July 2015 Lamoon Jaengreaw, mother of Chonticha aka Lookked, 1 of the 14 activists of New Democracy Movement who was detained by the Military Court’s order, informed that 3 uniformed army officials went to her house in Lad Lum Kaeo District, Pathum Thani Province. Officials questioned why Chonticha resisted the NCPO and asked why didn’t she control her daughter to be submissive to the government.
 
In the same day, Putita, activist from Chiang Mai posted on her Facebook that 2 army officials, 2 police officers and a village chief went to her house in the morning to take photos.

 

2 July 2015 - Police officials went to Naresuan University to inspect the case where a group of lecturers signed a petition demanding the release of 14 New Democracy Movement activists. Initially, the police found that there were 16 lecturers who signed the petition.  
 
In the same day, 3 army officials went to Prachatai office, spended 20 minutes asking for information. The officials also asked for names and numbers of those whom they could alway get in touch. The army also took the photos of the staffs and the office exterior.
 
4 July 2015 Netiwit posted a message on Facebook that 2 policemen went to visit his house by the army’s order.
 
8 July 2015 - 4 army officials visited Jaran Ampornklinkaew, a red shirt activist reasoned that he criticized about the purchase of submarine based on false information.
 
In the same day,  Bencharat Sae Chua, a lecturer of the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies, Mahidol University informed that 5 army officials asked to see Pratabjit Neelapaijit a lecturer of the institute. They met and talked with Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gothom Arya and other 6 lecturers of the Institute, the talke lasted for an hour. The army asked Gothom that if the institute wanted to held activities, they had to ask for permission from the local army officials and the content of activity should be solften. 
 
20 July 2015 - Army officials of the 11th Infantry Regiment summoned Nat Sattayapornpisut to report claiming that they need to monitor the designated person.
 
22 July 2015 - ASTV Manager Online reported that the army officials went to see the coordinator of Save Andaman from Coal Network at his house. The military wish to talk to Prasittichai Noonuan but he wasn't home. The army told his mother that they came for a regular visit not to threaten.
 
24 July 2015 - Pariwat Khampeera, student from the Department of Communication Arts, Mahasarakham University, who made a documentary about Huay Canal (Located in Na Nong Bong Village, Wang Saphung District, Loei Province) for broadcasted via ThaiPBS in a program called Tee Nee Baan Rao (This is our home) was summoned by the army from Peace and Order Maintaining Force, Mahasarakham Province because he failed to honour the agreement that he promised to seek a permission prior to entering the area and not to get involved with Dao Din student (Dao Din is a name of a group of student activist from Khonkhean University). Apart from Pariwat, at least 7 other students, who went to the area for filming, were also summoned.
 
27 July 2015 - Daily News Online reported that Nattapon from Kantharalak District, Sisaket Province, one of those who posted messages opposing the enforcement of Section 44 of the constitution to control motopunks and speedy drivers, was summoned for an attitude adjustment.

 

Other interesting freedom of expression cases 

14 July 2015 - Nattapon Khemnguen, a punk musician, was sentenced to 1 year in prison without suspension by the criminal court for the damaging official property.
 
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Nattapon aka JJ, the defendant who sprayed the criminal court banner (Photo by Prachatai) 
 
16 July 2015 - The Administrative Court ordered the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) to temporarily permitted Peace TV to broadcasting. The court ruled that the NBTC’s order to revoked license of Peace TV seemed to be unlawful. The court also urged Peace TV to be cautious when broadcasting and the contents must not breach NCPO’s orders.    
 
26 July 2015 -  Khaosod Online reported that the army officials had removed a Thaksin birthday wishes banner on Phrae – Long Road from the site. 
 

 

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