October 2015: Famous people and police arrested for lese majeste case, giving flowers charged for sedition and journalists were summoned.


Period 22 May 2014 – 31 October 2015 October 2015

Number of individuals summoned

790 5
Number of individuals arrested 485 2
Arrests at peaceful demonstrations 212 3
Individuals prosecuted before military court 149 5
Individuals prosecuted before civilian court 47 1
Number of individuals charged with lese majeste offense (Article 112) 54 1
Number of individuals detained under lese majeste charge 47


Sia Thairath and Prachatai journalists were summoned, and the army kept visiting “targeted individuals”.

October 2015. Those who had been identified as threats and were against the NCPO’s administration, especially the media who has reported political situations and human rights issues, as well as academics, students and activists who have expressed their opinions, were summoned or had the army personnel visited for attitude adjustment. 

4 October 2015. Sakda Sae-Eiaw aka Sia, a cartoonist for Thairath newspaper, reported that the army, in cooperation with the local police, invited him to the Royal Thai Army headquarters on 3 October 2015 in order to clarify a political cartoon. But Sia was out of town, and asked to postpone his report to Sunday 4 October 2015. Later it was announced that he had met the army, and was released without having to sign any documents.



 Sia Thairath on his way to the Royal Thai Army headquarters. Picture: Prachatai website


7 October 2015. Thichanon Pitakpracha and Somchai Kuwattanasakul, two students from Chiang Rai Rajabhat University, were summoned to Mengrai Fort, Chiang Rai Province, after they held an activity in the campus to commemorate the 1976 student massacre. The army was worried about some post-it notes that could have been political incitements. They, as informed by the army themselves, would keep an eye on the group.  

8 October 2015. Tewarit Maneechai, a Prachatai reporter, posted on his Facebook that the army personnel from 2nd Infantry Battalion, 1stInfantry Regiment came to his office, to ask for his personal information, and to recheck on those who had been summoned by NCPO’s Orders. The questioning was for general information – the name and the address of the apartment which Tewarit lived in Bangkok.   

15 October 2015. Vinai Poncharoen, a lecturer of the Department of Politics and Government, the College of Politics and Governance, Mahasarakham University, posted on his Facebook that the Acting President asked him to meet at his office. Upon Vinai’s arrival, there were other two lecturers and four army personnel, led by a Colonel. The personnel asked Vinai not to state anything about politics and informed that this would be the last time they begged. If the cooperation was not provided by the lecturer, the deemed appropriate action would be taken.

On the same day, Peace and Order Maintaining Command, 1st Army Area, invited Srisuwan Janya, secretary-general of the Association for the Protection of the Thai Constitution for a talk. It was after Srisuwan filed an ethics complaint against Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha and his deputy Wissanu Krea-ngam with the Ombudsman for appointing their family members and former collegues to be the members of the National Reform Steering Assembly.

27 October 2015.The army invited Taweeporn Kummetha, a Prachatai reporter, for an attitude adjustment after publishing an infographic which deemed against the Section 112 of the Criminal Code. 

On the same day, Sawatree Suksri, a lecturer of the Faculty of Law, Thammasat University, posted on her Facebook that there were four army personnel came to her house. They said that they wanted to get to know her because there was a new Chief of their branch. 

16 October 2015. Ranger Forces of Mae Sot District, Tak Province, informed some villagers of Wang Tha Kien that Maj. Gen. Nopporn Ruenchan, the Commander of the Narasuan Force summoned the ‘Kon Mae Sot Rak Tin’ to meet him at Tha Sai Luad sub-district administration office on 17 October 2015. The villagers thought that they were not informed properly. There was no purpose and no specific persons identified for the summons. Many of them did not even know that they were summoned. So in the morning of 17 October 2015, there were only 3 people came to observe the local administration office but no other villagers summoned to the personnel.   

The military still summoned and visited members of the United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) in Northern Thailand. 

8 October 2015. Sarawut Kulomturapoj, a former Cyber Warriors for Democracy Group, posted pictures and announced that military personnel paid him a visit for an attitude adjustment.  

18 October 2015. The army personnel of the 34th Military Circle, Phayao Province, met Siriwat Jupamattha, a UDD coordinator in Phayao Province at his office. They asked him not to post his opinions about political issues and his critics on the government.

26 October 2015. The army personnel of the 34th Military Circle summoned Siriwat to Khunchueangthammikkarat Fort to meet the Commander of the 34thMilitary Circle. They asked Siriwat not to wear red shirts on 1 November 2015 which was the date scheduled for wearing red shirts. 


There were at least 10 people who were summoned or were visited by the army in October 2015. This makes at least 790 people who have been summoned or have been visited since the Coup.


Commemorations during October were not banned.

The army seemingly eased up. 

October is another significant month for the history of Thailand. October has at least two very important events; 14 October 1973 and 6 October 1976 Massacres.

Activists of Resistant Citizen and New Democracy Movement held an event to commemorate both incidents. Another was also held to commemorate the suicide of Nuamthong Praiwan, a taxi driver who protested the military coup of 2006. All three events were watched very closely because they were all political events held during abnormal situations. And some of the activists, the organizers, and participants were those who have been charged for political gatherings.  

6 October 2015. The event “6 October: Pigeons Returning Home”, held at Thammasat University, Rangsit Campus, and another event held at Thammasat University (Main Campus) were successfully completed. Even though there were as many as 100 uniform and plainclothes police personnel observing both events. But the police did not seem to oppose and try to close down the events.  

14 October 2015. Activists of Resistant Citizen, New Democracy Movement, and Democracy Study held an event “Commemorating 14 October, in the version of Civilians, From 3 Tyrants to 3 Ps: Dictatorship never dies”. The organisers said that they had written a formal request to hold the event at the 14 October Memorial to the local police. Later on the police from Chana Songkhram Metropolitan Police Station informed that the permission to hold the event was granted, but they were not allowed to move to other places.    

Nonetheless, on the day at about 18.30 hrs., the demonstrators lined up to march from the Memorial to the Democracy Monument. At first the police closed the footpath that led to the Monument, and informed them that they would be charged according to the Public Assembly Act 2015 should the march continued. The event organisers and the police negotiated for about 10 minutes, and then the police let them march on to the Monument. There were no arrests of the organisers or the participants. 

31 October 2015.The Resistant Citizen held an event at the 14 October Memorial to commemorate the 9th death anniversary of Nuamthong Praiwan, a taxi driver who committed suicide by hanging to protest the military coup of 2006.

Apart from the event at the Memorial, the demonstrators marched to the Royal Thai Army Headquarters to hand over a recommendation for the Army’s reformation. The march was peaceful and was closely watched by at least 50 uniform and plainclothes police personnel. At the Army Headquarters, the demonstrators negotiated with the personnel to cross over to the other side. But the army did not allow, because it was against the permission that had been previously granted. The police warned the demonstrators and the media that they would be charged according to the Public Assembly Act should they crossed over. 


Activity of handing over a recommendation for the Army’s reformation in front of the Royal Thai Army Headquarters, on the occasion of 9th death anniversary of Nuamthong Praiwan.


The personnel allowed the demonstrators to hold some activity on the traffic island in from of the Headquarters for only 30 minutes. It was finished at 17.00 hrs. Then the demonstrators headed back to the 14 October Memorial. The activity went well. There was no report of any arrests or charges. 


Progress of Section 112 Cases: Mor Yong and associates arrested for lese majeste and a case of disseminating a fake statement suspended.

Progress of Section 112 Case due to expression opinions
16 October 2015. The military court scheduled Opas for questioning the Article 112 case; writing a message on the toilet wall, which was the second case. Opas pleaded guilty. The judge sentenced a 3-year imprisonment. Due to the defendant’s confession, the sentenced was mitigated to 1 year and 6 months. The sentence would commence after the first case’s sentence was fully served. Opas would be imprisoned for 3 years for both cases. Today there were observers from many embassies. But the questioning was proceeded in a confidential manner. See details of Opas’s case.  
Opas, the Section 112 defendant for writing a message on a toilet wall, in front of the Military Court Bangkok
19 October 2015.The military court scheduled the witnesses’ testimonies for Ness’s case; disseminating a fake statement of the Bureau of the Royal Household. Prior to the judge took the bench, Nes changed the pleading to be guilty, and handed a statement for the pleading. The judge stayed of proceedings the witnesses. The judge sentenced Nes to a 5-year imprisonment, and due to the confession,the sentenced was mitigated to 2 years and 6 months. But the imprisonment was suspended for 3 years because the defendant immediately sought to fix the damage by deleting the post as soon as the fact came up. 
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Pictures of Ness at the military court

Ness’s lese majeste case was the second case that the military court suspended the defendant’s imprisonment sentence. See more details at Ness’s Case, and Nirand’s Case which was another case of disseminating a fake statement that the military court also suspended the sentence. 
20 October 2015. The criminal court rendered the supreme court’s judgements of Nopawan’s Case for posting and disseminating insulting and defamatory comments to defame the monarch on Prachatai's webboard. Nopawan’s father was the guarantor came to hear the judgement. But the defendant did not turn up. Prior to this, on 11 September 2015, the defendant did not turn up for the judgement either, and the judge had already issued the arrest warrant. Before the judgement was announced, the judge informed the guarantor that it had been exactly 1 month since the arrest warrant had been issued. And the defendant did not report to the court accordingly. The judge rendered the judgement that could be summarised as “the IP Address alone cannot prove that the defendant had anything to do with the message that was posted. And the persecutor’s witnesses have always been curious. The supreme court therefore disagreed with the court of appeals’ decision, and dismissed the case”. See more detail at Nopawan’s Case.

On the same day, the criminal court brought Tanat, aka Tom Dundee, to give an evident for the second lese majeste case. The proceedings were in the courtroom where outsiders were not allowed to observe. After the charge was announced, Tanat pleaded not guilty, and asked to defend his lawsuit. The judge scheduled for a deposition examination on 25 January 2016. See more detail of Tanat’s first case.  


22 October 2015. The judge scheduled for a deposition examination of Tara’s case for posting Banpot's audio clips. The judge advocate stated before the military court that 11 of the prosecutor’s witnesses would be testified, while the defendant had 3 witnesses. The judge scheduled for the first examination on 21 December 2015.

On the same day, the military court scheduled for the prosecutor’s witnesses examination for Tanat, aka Tom Dundee’s case (first case). Due to the witnesses were on official duties, and did not turn up, the judge scheduled for another examination on 13 November 2015.  

29 October 2015. The military court scheduled for a deposition examinationof Unchan’s case for sharing Banpodj's audio clips. The court clerk informed the defendant’s lawyer that the prosecutor’s witnesses did not turn up, and asked to postpone the examination to 4 December 2015.

There have been at least 54 defendants charged for lese majeste cases since the coup until October 2015. 


Progress of Section 112 Cases for allegedly citing the monarchy for ill-gotten gains.

Other than the progress of Section 112 cases due to the freedom of expression, October 2015 had more cases of allegedly citing the monarchy that made headlines.  


15 October 2015. Pairat Petch-yuan, Chief District Officer of Wat Sing district, Chai Nat province, filed a suit against Ratchanon Boonyapik, aka Tom Orod, for lese majeste after using pictures of children with disabilities for fundraising and for allegedly citing the monarchy. 


Another case was on 16 October 2015 when a spread of rumour on the internet said that Suriyan Sucharitpolawong, aka Mor Yong, a well-known astrologer, was arrested for lese majeste. But the officials denied the rumour.


Later on 21 October 2015. Pol Lt-Gen Srivara Rangsipromnakul, assistant police chief, and a fully armed commando squad of Crime Suppression Division brought in Suriyan Sucharitpolawong, aka Mor Yong, his secretary Chirawong Wattanathewasilp, and Pol Maj Prakrom Waroonprapa, inspector of subdivision 1 of the Technological Crime Suppression Division, the three suspects of a lese majeste case, to the Bangkok military court for their first 12-day detention from 21 October – 1 November. Correctional officers escorted them to a temporary detention centre at the 11th army circle in Thanon Nakhon Chai Si district. 

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24 October 2015. The Department of Corrections announced that Prakrom Waroonprapa died while in custody at the temporary detention centre in Thanon Nakhon Chai Si district. The officials informed that the suspect hung himself to the window bars on the night of 23 October 2015. He was rushed to the hospital, but was pronounced dead soon after. 

30 October 2015. Officials of the Department of Corrections, personnel of the 11th army circle, and inquiry officials brought in Chirawong Wattanathewasilp, Mor Yong’s secretary, for the second 12-day detention at the military court. But Mor Yong was not at the presence. The officials also brought a medical certificate before the court confirming that Mor Yong was not well, had to be treated at the detention, and could not come to the court. The officials assured the media that Mor Yong was still alive. 

Since the coup on 22 May 2014 until 31 October 2015 there have been at least 54 defendants charged for lese majeste cases upon their freedom of expression. And there have been at least 36 defendants charged for allegedly citing the monarchy.


Progress of other freedom-related cases: Thanaporn charged for libeling the army over the helicopter crashed down incident. A retired public servant arrested for handing flowers to the accused of March for Justice case by Section 116.

8 October 2015. The Bangkok military court scheduled for the prosecutor’s witnesses deposition examination for Jittra’s case defying NCPO order. Immigration police officers who arrested Jittra testified that on 13 June 2014 about 7.20 hrs., were informed by the on-arrival immigration officer that there was an individual on the blacklist had entered the country. After the examination, the judge advocate asked the court order to summon more witnesses in November. But the defendant stated that she had to go abroad for 3 months, and the NCPO had granted permission. The judge rescheduled for another examination on 11 February 2016. 

Jittra, the defendant of defying NCPO order, in front of Bangkok military court.
On the same day, the military court scheduled for testimony of “My Dear Election” case. All 4 accused stated that there were not ready to testify, and they wanted to object the military’s judicial power. They filed a petition to the judge. The judge took the petition and ordered the judge advocate to report within 15 days. So that the judge would consider the judicial power, and would send the consideration to Pathumwan Municipal Court, which is a court of justice, and has the power to legal proceedings, to consider further. 

19 October 2015. Bangkok South Criminal Court scheduled for the testimony of Andy Hall for defamating Natural Fruit Co., Ltd. The defendant did not turn up and the testimony could not be processed. The judge asked both lawyers to discuss at the bench. The plaintiff’s lawyer believed that the defendant already knew the schedule from the previous examination. Last time the defendant came to the court but did not come inside the courtroom. The defendant’s lawyer informed the judge that the warrant was previously sent to the old address. So the defendant did not receive it. And the warrant that was posted up at the office of the defendant’s lawyer was received on 12 October 2015, which was not yet 15 days according to the law. The court rescheduled on 18 January 2016.

26 October 2015. Free Thai Legal Aid (FTLA) filed a provisional release application for Preecha Kaewbanpeaw, a retired public servant, was charged with incitement under the Section 116 of the Criminal Code, and with defying the NCPO announcement; prohibiting a political gathering. 

Preecha was arrested while crossing the border to Laos for a holiday. The personnel arrested him after found out that he had an arrest warrant issued on the database. After the arrest, Preecha was escorted to Chana Songkhram Police Station, which was the local authority responsible for.

The incident occurred on 15 August 2015. Preecha observed Pansak Srithep, the activist who was leading a 'March for Justice' activity to campaign against the use of Military Courts to try civilians. In the middle of the activity someone told Preecha to give flowers to Pansak and he did. Preecha did not even know that he had been charged until he got arrested. See more detail of Preecha’s case.

28 October 2015. The military court scheduled for the plaintiff’s witnesses examination of Worajet’s case for defying NCPO order. There was a problem for proceedings. This witness was an additional witness, who was not on the witness list. The defendant’s lawyer objected the witness. The judge postponed the testimony to 29 March 2016.

29 October 2015. The criminal court scheduled for testimony of Thanaporn’s case for defaming fallen soldiers in a helicopter crash. A prosecutor filed charge against Thanaporn before the criminal court. Thanaporn’s mother requested the court to release him on bail with land title deed worth 132,500 Baht. The court later on ordered to release Thanaporn, and scheduled for deposition examination on 8 February 2016.  


Other freedom-related cases: Visited Jittra’s place 3 times but no sight of her. 'Arbat' Movie banned. ICT blocked refreshthis website. 


1 October 2015. Pol Lt Gen Prawut Thavornsiri, acting Deputy Commissioner General for technological and forensic science investigation informed that the Technological Crime Suppression Division was investigating the damage caused by a great number of internet users went to least 5 of the government’s websites at the same time. As a result, the websites were crashed, and the wrongdoers would be brought to justice.

2 October 2015. Jittra Cotchadet, a labour activist, posted on her Facebook that there were army personnel visited her house in Suphan Buri province. The three personnel in camouflage uniforms came by a military utility vehicle. The personnel asked for Jittra whether she was home and asked for her political activities. Then on 19 October 2015, the army took some picture of the house and asked for Jittra. Later on 28 October 2015, Jittra posted on Facebook again that the personnel visited her sister’s house in Suphan Buri province. The military asked to meet Jittra and to take pictures with her. The military insisted to be called should Jittra were home. They said that they were from Surasee Camp, Kanchanaburi province.    

3 October 2015. Civilian reporters informed that about 100 supporters of Rak Bamnet Narong Network wore green t-shirts with a message “No Coal Power Plant” joined a meeting with Committee for Monitoring the Public Opinion towards ASEAN Potash Chaiyaphum PCL.’s Business, at a meeting room of Ban Phet subdistrict administrative office, Bamnet Narong district, Chaiyaphum province. But Lt Col Surachai Chopchuen, Deputy Head for Military of Damrongdhama Center of Chaiyaphum province, forced them to leave the meeting room. He said that wearing these t-shirts represented disharmony.

4 October 2015. The website refreshthis.com provided a service of automatically refresh the webpage, was blocked by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). This was to prevent internet users to criticise the government. When go to the website, a message apprears; “This website has inappropriate content and information, and was suspended by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology”.

6 October 2015. BBC Thai announced the reasons for concealing the author of the article “A UN Meeting starts at home”. They stated that even though the author did not use the real name, but the BBC Thai verified the author thoroughly. They acknowledged that the information gained was legitimate, and it was worthwhile for distributing to Thai audience. Even there were some people criticised that the article was not too delicate for the author’s name to be concealed. BBC Thai accepted the notion. But since the author insisted not to reveal the real name because the fear of threat during this current situation, which could be affected by expressing opinions, therefore BBC Thai would have to do according to the source’s wishes. 

12 October 2015. National Committee on Film and Video concluded the decision to ban the movie “Arbat”. Should the filmmakers wanted to release the film, some parts of it had to be deleted. On 16 October 2015, after some scenes were removed and the title changed from "Arbat" to "Arpat", which was Pali language and still had the same meaning, the Committee allowed the film to be screened with 18+ rate. See more detail “Arbat”.

14 October 2015. Dr. Krisada Ruengareerat, manager of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, posted on Facebook urged the groups not to protest after the Prime Minister redirected the roles and responsibilities of the Foundation. He reasoned that he did not want to cause unrest and that we should all help the country to move forward.  

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