Sunday, January 18, 2009

Accused of lese majeste in Thailand

Prof. Giles Ji Ungpakorn is circulating an open letter calling upon Thailand to cease persecuting people under the country's draconian lese magjeste law.

Because Giles' letter gives us a good picture of the scope of the outrage, from the text of the petition, I extracted these points:
  • Thai Justice Ministry refusing to publish figures of lese majeste cases. . .
  • The Thai Minister of Justice has called for a blanket ban on reporting these cases in the Thai media. The main stream Thai media are obliging. Thus we are seeing a medieval style witch hunt taking place in Thailand with "secret" trials in the courts.
Persons now charged under the law, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison:
  • Giles Ji Ungpakorn - Associate Professor, from the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University. He is facing Lese Majeste charges for writing a book "A Coup for the Rich", which criticised the 2006 military coup.
  • Jakrapop Penkae - former government minister, who asked a question at the Foreign Correspondent's Club in Bangkok about what kind of Monarchy we have in Thailand.
  • Chotisak Oonsung - a young student who failed to stand for the King's anthem in the cinema.
  • Da Topedo
  • Boonyeun Prasertying
  • Jonathan Head - BBC correspondent
  • Harry Nicolaides - an Australia writer
  • Sulak Sivaraksa - social critic
  • Suwicha Takor - The latest person to be thrown into jail and refused bail. Charged with Lese Majeste for surfing the internet.
You can read the whole letter and sign it here.

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