Lèse majesté a ‘special case’ at DSI-PPT

December 1, 2009

The committee on special cases and lèse majesté

Political Prisoners in Thailand: November 26, 2009

http://thaipoliticalprisoners.wordpress.com/2009/11/25/still-investigating-lese-majeste/

In case readers missed it, the Bangkok Post (25 November 2009: “DSI to investigate Thaksin interview”) reports that “the committee on special cases” has agreed that the “Department of Special Investigation (DSI) should investigate comments made by former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in an interview with a reporter from The Times newspaper.”

What is “the committee  on special cases”? It is explained by DSI deputy chief Police Colonel Narat Savetnant. He says it is “the committee, known as the DSI board and chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban…”. He says that the committee has “decided to take it [the Times interview] as a special case since Thaksin’s comments, published … on Nov 9, could constitute lese majeste and might be deemed a threat to national security under the Criminal Code.”

Any fair reading of the said interview would not reveal lese majeste or threats to national security. But this is Thailand, the monarchy and Thaksin so fairness is not a consideration. Should the DSI find lese majeste or a national security threat in this, then any commentary on the monarchy is going to be under threat. The depths being plunged are murky indeed and the precedents being set under the Democrat Party are for repression and authoritarianism.

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