A man has been arrested and charged with Article 112 or lese majeste for sending an email containing a link to content deemed defaming the monarchy to now-defunct Stop Lese Majeste blog. This is the third case involving the blog, according to iLaw.  
 
Tanet (last name withheld due to privacy concern) was accused of sending an email to Emilio Esteban, whom the police identified as an Englishman residing in Spain. Esteban runs the Stop Les Majeste blog. 
 
The police states on the custody petition that the police has seeked the court’s order to hack into Esteban’s email in 2010 and found an email from the suspect. 
 
In the email, the suspect allegedly gave Esteban a link to an article deemed lese majeste with a message “Can you post this web on your site for Thais to read? They need to read it. Thanks load.” 
 
However, the police had not follow cases against Tanet until 2 July 2014 when 10 military officers and plainclothes police raided his house and arrested him. During the pre-charge detention at a military camp, Tanet admitted of sending the email. On the sixth day of the detention, a court’s arrest warrant was issued. On the seventh day, the last day that the Martial Law allows for pre-charge detention, the military transferred Tanet into the custody of the police’s Technology Crime Suppression Division. 
 
The police charged him under Article 112 (for defaming the King), 116 (for instigating unrest) of the Criminal Code and Article 14 (3) of the Computer Crime Law (for sending content deemed threat to national security on the computer system).  
 
At police, Tanet, 45, pleaded guilty to all charges. He is now detained at the Bangkok Remand Prison. Tanet is infected with HIV and was treated at a hospital in central Petchaboon province. 
 
Earlier Nat S. and Suwicha T. were found guilty for lese majeste and under the Computer Crime Act on charges involving Estaban in 2009. 
 
Suwicha was sentenced to 20 year imprisonment for allegedly joining Estaban in defaming the monarchy. The sentence was halved because he pleaded guilty. He served the jail term for about a year before receiving the royal pardon in 2010. 
 
Nat was sentenced to nine years in jail for sending email containing content deemed lese majeste to Estaban. The police found Nat’s email after hacking into Estaban’s email account. However, the sentence was reduced by half since the Nat pleaded guilty. Nat was granted an early release after serving jail term for about three years in 2008. 
 
Stop Lese Majeste blog on blogspot is no longer exist. Apart from advocating for the abolition of the law, the blog shared news of lese majeste prisoners and content defaming the Thai monarchy. 
 
Read more...
BANGKOK, 22 August 2014: A well-known practitioner of Hatha Yoga will offer an intensive two-month course to instructors and trainers in the southern Thailand coastal resort of Khao Lak, later this year. The SENTIDO Graceland Khao Lak Resort and Spa will host the course led by Indian yoga master, Bikram Choudury, 14 September to 16 [...] Read more...
Human Rights Watch
Thailand: Junta Leader Named Prime Minister
Repression Continues Three Months After Military Coup
 
AUGUST 22, 2014
 
(New York) – The appointment of Thailand’s junta leader as prime minister by the military-picked legislature does not advance human rights or a return to democratic rule, Human Rights Watch said today.
 
On August 21, 2014, the 191-member National Legislative Assembly unanimously approved Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha as the new prime minister while permitting him to retain his chairmanship of the ruling military authority, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).
 
Three months after the May 22 military coup, the junta continues its crackdown on those exercising their fundamental rights and freedoms and has made no genuine progress towards restoring democratic rule. Under martial law, the junta’s sweeping powers can be carried out without any judicial or other oversight, and with full immunity from prosecution.
 
“As both prime minister and junta leader, Gen. Prayuth can wield broad power without accountability,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “This marks a dark day for human rights and the future of democracy in Thailand.”
 
Under the interim constitution proclaimed on July 22, the military junta created a closed and undemocratic political system. The NCPO filled the National Legislative Assembly with military personnel and others known to be close to the junta. Since its formation, the assembly has appeared to operate as a rubber-stamp body for the NCPO rather than placing any checks on the junta’s broad executive powers. For instance, during Prayuth’s presentation of the national budget proposal on August 18, not a single assembly member made a critical comment.
 
Human Rights Watch learned that after the presentation Prayuth asked, “Anyone disagree with me?” The room remained silent.
 
Since the military coup on May 22, the NCPO has enforced widespread censorship, largely banned public gatherings and other political activity, carried out hundreds of arbitrary arrests and detentions, and disregarded allegations of torture and ill-treatment.
 
“Three months under military rule, the junta continues to show contempt for fundamental rights and freedoms,” Adams said. “Criticism is prosecuted, political activity is banned, free speech is censored and subjected to punishment, and several hundred people have been arbitrarily detained.”
 
Censorship and Restrictions on Free Expression 
Restrictions on media and free expression and censorship that began after the coup have continued. Under martial law, the authorities can censor any information considered to be “distorted” or likely to cause “public misunderstanding.” Failure to comply with censorship orders could result in prosecution before a military court. As a result, print and other media operators have generally refrained from publishing news and commentary critical of the military.
 
The junta has not only targeted media outlets affiliated with the ousted Pheu Thai Party and its mass organization, the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), known as the “Red Shirts,” but it has also banned criticism from pro-junta newspapers and other media.
 
On July 26, the junta issued an order threatening to prosecute the weekly magazine Phu Jad Karn Sud Sapda if it continued to publish “false information to discredit the NCPO” after the magazine published stories alleging military cronyism and corruption. The junta also instructed the National Press Council of Thailand to launch an ethics inquiry against the magazine. In protest, Phu Jad Karn Sud Sapda announced on August 2 that it would stop publication for one month. Through August 21, the magazine’s sister ASTV satellite broadcast is off the air since the NCPO shuttered the station on May 22.
 
The junta has repeatedly vowed to prosecute critics of the monarchy, in violation of the right to free expression. Since the coup, at least 14 new cases of lese majeste – insulting the monarchy – have been brought to the Bangkok Military Court and criminal courts around Thailand.
 
On August 14 and 15, the authorities arrested two activists involved in a play, “The Wolf Bride,” performed in October 2013 that the junta considered to be “insulting to the monarchy.” Patiwat Saraiyaem and Pornthip Munkong were denied bail and are being held in detention facilities in Bangkok.
 
On August 14, the Bangkok Criminal Court found Yuthasak Kangwanwongsakul, a taxi driver, guilty of lese majeste based on his conversation with a passenger, and sentenced him to 30 months in jail. On July 31, the Ubon Ratchathani Court sentenced a 27-year-old man to 15 years in prison for posting messages on Facebook deemed insulting to members of the monarchy.
 
On August 5, the Cultural Ministry announced that the simulation game Tropico 5 was banned because it contained content that appeared to be offensive to the monarchy. The Cultural Promotion Department chief said the game allowed players to name the country and its leader or king as they pleased, and therefore the content was deemed offensive to the Thai monarchy and might affect the country’s dignity.
 
Arbitrary Arrests and Detention
 
Since the coup on May 22, the military has detained more than 300 politicians, activists, journalists, and people accused of supporting the deposed government, disrespecting or offending the monarchy, or being involved in anti-coup protests and activities.
 
The NCPO has banned public gatherings of more than five people and prohibits any opposition to the military authorities. On August 20, police and soldiers arrested at least 11 energy-reform advocates while they walked on the Asian Highway in Songkhla province’s Rattaphum district. The activists were told that their activity violated martial law provisions banning public gatherings of more than five people. Those arrested were taken to the Senanarong Army Camp in Hat Yai district, where they are being held indefinitely.
 
On August 10, the authorities ordered Amnesty International Thailand to stop its campaign activity in Bangkok calling for peace in the Gaza Strip, citing the public assembly restrictions and prohibition on political events.
 
On August 8, the NCPO attempted to stop an academic seminar on the interim constitution at Thammasat University in Bangkok. A letter, signed by Col. Noppadon Tawrit, commander of the Kings Guard’s 1st Field Artillery Regiment, to the university rector, stated that the event should be stopped in order “to prevent the resurgence of differences in political attitude.”
 
The NCPO has held people in incommunicado lockup in unofficial places of detention, such as military camps. Some have been held longer than the seven-day limit for administrative detention under martial law. For example, Yongyuth Boondee, a well-known Red Shirt supporter, was arrested by soldiers in Chiang Mai province on June 28. He was brought to a news conference on July 1, in which the authorities accused him of involvement in grenade attacks and shootings at opposition demonstrations. Since then, the authorities have refused to provide Yongyuth’s family with information on his whereabouts. On August 8, military officers told legal aid activists that Yongyuth had “consented” to voluntarily stay in military custody at an undisclosed location.
 
Kritsuda Khunasen, another Red Shirt activist, was arrested by soldiers on May 27 in Chonburi province and held incommunicado until June 24, when she was released without charge. In a video interview released on August 2, Kritsuda alleged that soldiers beat her during interrogation and suffocated her with a plastic bag over her head until she lost consciousness. The Thai authorities quickly blocked access to the interview on YouTube and to an English language article about her case. There has not been any official inquiry into Kritsuda’s allegations or other reports of mistreatment in military custody.
 
The NCPO’s response to Kritsuda’s allegations has been dismissive, raising broader concerns for the authorities’ treatment of all detainees.
 
On August 20, Worawut Thuagchaiphum, a student at Mahasarakham University, told the media that military personnel threatened him with enforced disappearance and death while in military custody in May because he had protested against the coup. He and his friends had made cloth banners with anti-coup messages and hung them from a clock tower and around Mahasarakham. After the media reported Worawut’s account, the army unit that allegedly interrogated him summoned him to report to its base.
 
Since the NCPO’s announcement on June 24 that all detainees held without charge had been released, no information has been provided about releases, and individuals continue to be arrested and detained. Those released from military detention have to sign an agreement that they will not make political comments, become involved in political activities, or travel overseas without the junta’s permission. Failure to comply could result in a new detention, or a sentence of two years in prison, or a fine of 40,000 baht (US$1,250).
 
“Since the May coup, the generals have tightened rather than relaxed their grip on power,” Adams said. “Instead of the promised path back to democracy through free and fair elections, Thailand’s military seems to be opting for a road to dictatorship.”
 
 
Read more...
The Department of International Trade Promotion (DTIP), Ministry of Commerce, presents Refrigeration, Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning Fair (Bangkok RHVAC 2015) and Electric and Electronics Fair (Bangkok E&E 2015). The two global events are being held simultaneously from August 14-16, 2015, at Bitec convention and exhibition hall, Bang Na, Bangkok, Thailand. Read more...
Posted in Okategoriserade.
BANGKOK, 22 August 2014: Thailand’s junta-picked national assembly on Thursday chose coup leader General Prayut Chan-O-Cha as the country’s next prime minister. Nobody in the legislature opposed the selection of the 60-year-old army chief, who ousted an elected government in a bloodless takeover 22 May. The move by the top general to shed his uniform [...] Read more...
 
After the Harvard Crimson an article which talked about the pro-coup Thai elite trying to influence the Thai Studies programme at Harvard for the “personal safety of its author,” the paper on Thursday reposted the article on its website saying it was now safe because the author had left Thailand. 
“This article was temporarily removed from thecrimson.com due to the author's concerns for his personal safety while in Thailand. We have reposted the article, without changes, now that the author has left that country,” said the editor’s note on Thursday. 
 
On Wednesday the article was removed from the website, and replaced with an editor’s note, saying that for the safety of the author, the Crimson had decided to remove the article. A death threat had been reported by a social network user against Ilya Garger, the author of  “Troubles with Thai Studies.”
  
The article raised concerns that by allowing the pro-coup Thai elite to influence the establishment of a permanent Thai Studies programme at Harvard, academic freedom may become compromised. 
 
“Having overthrown a series of elected governments and facing growing criticism from cold-war allies, the conservative establishment is working hard to rebuild its legitimacy abroad, and setting up a program at Harvard would be an important victory,” wrote Garger, a former reporter for Time magazine, and a member of the Harvard Club of Thailand’s executive committee.  
 
The article focused on two individuals in particular - former Foreign Ministers Surin Pitsuwan and Surakiart Sathirathai - as members of the pro-coup conservative Thai establishment who have spearheaded the fundraising campaign for the programme and said that Surin is working to secure funding from the Crown Property Bureau. 
 
 
Read more...
BANGKOK, 21 August 2014: Thailand earned a record THB942.20 million from on-location film shoots, January to July, according to a Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ Thailand Film Office Department update released late last week. During the first seven months of the year, 344 documentaries, advertising slots, TV series, and music videos were filmed on location [...] Read more...
The Father Ray Foundation held a special day to recall the contributions of Father Ray Brennan, the American priest who founded the association, who died in August 2003. There were booths selling OTOP products and games for the youngsters. In the evening, there was a service of remembrance in Father Ray’s honor. Read more...
The Nation in an editorial on January 2, 2014 with the headline “Democracy is not just about elections”. Key excerpt: In a representative democracy, elected MPs are supposed to represent the interest of their electorate, and also the public interest. In mature democracies, voters tend to base their choice on political and ethical values, rather than offers of Read more...