Lese majeste makes political prisoners of anyone

10500353_10152877579731154_4167605203358014758_nThis picture is from early 2014 and shared by Andrew exactly 4 years ago. I believe that Srirasmi is alive today but she can’t / doesn’t want to be found, which is probably the best fate that political prisoners can hope for.

Weirdly, I think being ousted is the best thing that could have happened to Srirasmi. She is now a commoner, and even if never totally free from the abuses of Mr. X, she is not involved in his business any longer. When the tide inevitably turns against monarchy (and I believe it is turning), commoners and non-associates of the royal family will not go down with it. No one knows how long it will take or when it will happen.

However, it would be a mistake to say that her treatment, or that of anyone who gets close to the royal circle, is lucky. There is nothing lucky or just about surviving an accusation of insulting the monarchy. The blog Political Prisoners in Thailand details the fates of many others who have been murdered, are in exile, or imprisoned. A short list of victims of lese majeste include:

As you can see, there is no pattern or reason to lese majeste. It is a law that doesn’t make sense — and the fact that is is enforced, gives little credibility to all other laws.

Srirasmi’s family is the first lese majeste case I knew about, and now that I’m satisfied that she is alive, I’m staying for the Thai Alliance for Human Rights at large.

For that, I would like to share a few notes of optimism for the holidays and new year:

Isaan human rights defenders between fight or flight

“The current political situation suppresses our rights and freedoms,” said June, a female student from the Faculty of Liberal Arts. “When I look at my friends on social media, many of them want to leave their country because they don’t see opportunities and have no hope. And then of course there are also the economic problems.”

Campaigners bare plans to challenge Prayuth’s regime in 2020

“We come together today in a show of force, to show that we will not retreat and will not put up with things any longer,” Thanathorn said. “This is not a day to protect the Future Forward, but a day to to protect the future of all Thais.”

Activists unveil route for anti-Prayuth run

Fed up with insults that young netizens are merely a creature of social media too lazy or indifferent to take to the streets in a show of force, student activist Tanawat Wongchai, 21, decided to test the water by organizing “Run Against Dictatorship” set for Jan 12.

“We have been insulted that we only loud online and is invisible in the real world so we will show that we do really exist in flesh and blood,” Tanawat , who has over 33,600 followers on his Twitter account, said by phone.

“They’re distorting our democracy” – Isaan politicians’ daughter between hope and despair for Thai democracy

 I can’t really predict anything. Thailand’s politics is something beyond any predictions. We have to wait until it’s time for our generation to step in and fix these problems. All we can do is to make ourselves useful, for ourselves, for our fellow human beings, and the country.

If you want to learn more and take action, Political Prisoners of Thailand has some suggestions. “Tell your friends about lese majeste repression and political prisoners in Thailand.”

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