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Activist’s mother charged with lese majeste

May 06. 2016
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By The Nation

The mother of a student activist from the Resistant Citizen Group has been charged with violation of Section 112 of the Criminal Code, simply known as the royal defamation law.

The details of what the woman, Patnaree Chankij, is alleged to have done have not been disclosed but her lawyer Arnon Nampha said she was told by police yesterday after responding to an arrest warrant issued against her by the military court that she faced a charge related to that section.

As of 6pm, the lawyer was working on a bail of Bt500,000 for her temporary release, but was not confirmed by the police.

“We had no idea what they would say about the bail,” said the lawyer, during the time reported.

Lt-Colonel Sanpetch Nuthong, an investigator specialist from the Technology Crime Suppression Division, went to ask the military court yesterday for an arrest warrant against Patnaree, accusing her of jointly committing a wrongdoing against the section.

The court reportedly considered the evidence submitted to it by the police and then issued the warrant against her.

Sirawith posted on his Facebook after learning about his mother’s arrest that he was worried about her the most while she was meeting with the police at the TCSD. His mother, he said, was not used to politics and hardly talked or discussed politics with anyone. She would not have been interested in politics at all if he had not engaged in political moves.

“My mom often says we are only the grass roots people, so that’s what we are and what we would do with lives, that’s,” said Sirawith on his Facebook, while being away on a cultural trip in Cambodia.

“It’s shocking, and I feel pity for her,” he said.

Sirawith is among one of the most active student activists at present, as he regularly challenges the military after the coup took place. Sirawith has faced some charges from the police including violation of the National Council for Peace and Order’s prohibition on participation in politics after detention.

Sirawith in 2014 had joined the politically symbolic expressions including the so-called “sandwich party” and then the “[Dearing] Stolen Election” in 2015.

He then was charged again after a trip to Rajabhakti Park in Prachuab Khiri Khan province this year to investigate the claimed corruption scandal.

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