FACT refutes Dems’ hate campaign against Nitirat-Bangkok Pundit

February 7, 2012

[CJ Hinke of FACT comments: The band is playing now! Falling all over each other to get on the bandwagon. As I have personally signed the Khana Nitirat statement of which FACT is a supporting organisation, I must rebut the honourable MP’s comments as not accurate.

1) Those [who] are in the position of being suspects or defendants in all cases all have behaviour which is within the scope of being illegal. There is clear evidence. Evidence, eh? So why won’t the police and courts show it to us in the cases of each accused? Charges must be made public so citizens can make a genuine determination of whether such actions or remarks actually threatened, defamed or insulted the monarch. That’s why laws are precise and what having a rule of law is all about. The learned MP is not only a lawmaker but a lawyer. Shouldn’t you know that?

2) They have the right to “fight” the case to prove their innocence. Yes, they do. A right which is not being observed by the courts. A criminal charge in a functioning democracy carries with it the presumption of innocence. No accused is able to adequately consult with their lawyers or prepare a competent defence from inside a prison cell. Every accused must be released on bail unless they are a certain flight risk or represent a continuing danger to others. The courts are passing guilt before a trial!

3) It has never occurred that innocents have been pressured into being guilty… Wait just a minute here! Thai courts halve one’s sentence for pleading guilty. When an accused is facing multiple counts with 15 year penalties for each, that’s not pressure to say you’re guilty?!? In the recent case of US citizen Joe Gordon, both the accused and the court clearly acknowledged that the defendant was not admitting guilt to the charges but simply pleading guilty for relief in sentencing and to get the case over with.

If you really believe Thailand’s monarchy needs L-M laws, at least get your facts straight! Those of us who oppose the flagrant abuse of these laws aren’t threatening anyone. Your threat about a “loyal force” clearly means to intimidate public opinion with such vigilante action as has been all too common in Thailand’s history.

By the way, Reuters journalist Andrew Macgregor Marshall loves Thailand so much that he quit his job and moved to Singapore to be able to freely and honestly report on our issues. Does that work for you?

It’s far too late to shut all of us up.]

Deputy Democrat Spokesperson to Nitirat : Leave Thailand if you want to campaign against lese majeste

Bangkok Pundit: December 29, 2011



First, some background – see previous posts about Nittirat (about their earlier proposal) and commentary on criticism of Nittirat (here and here) – and Prachatai earlier this week:

Nitirat, a group of law academics at Thammasat University, has announced two activities to be held in January next year to campaign for amendments to Article 112 and the nullification of the 2006 coup’s legal effects, as has been proposed to the public by the group.

‘We’ve listened to all the feedback, heeding both support and criticism. We intended to push our proposals steadily further, but then came the floods; so we had to stop for a while. Meanwhile, we were repeatedly asked what we would do next. Some said that it was a pity that the floods came, otherwise we would move forward. However, we’ve never stopped thinking about our proposals, always reconsidering, reviewing and refining the details, and we are determined to push them to reality,’ said Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, a member of the Nitirat group.

According to Piyabutr, a campaign will be launched on 15 Jan 2012 by the ‘Campaign Group to Amend Article 112’, which includes academics, writers, artists, journalists, activists and students, to collect signatures to propose legal amendments to Parliament, based on Nitirat’s proposal.

Nitirat proposed amendments to the law in March, but the issue has not yet been much debated by the public, whereas the number of victims abused under the law has increased, he said.

Matichon has a quote from the Deputy Spokesperson of the Democrats, Phetchaburi MP Attaporn Ponlaboot:

“Hence, I don’t understand of this small group of lecturers. This group says that the law that prohibits defamatory statements, insults or threats of the King will cause the house [country] to collapse or cause this group to be breathless/take one’s final breath or what. [They] flounder about in all ways to amend Section 112 [lese majeste]. Those are in the position of being suspects or defendants in all cases all have behaviour which is within the scope of being illegal. There is clear evidence. They have the right to “fight” the case to prove their innocence. It has never occurred that innocents have been pressured into being guilty or are dupes in regards to Section 112. Such statements are distortions in order fulfill their goal which is more than amending Section 112. I want the Nittirat group to completely stop their protest movement and if they still continue on this issue then they will encounter a force of those loyal [to the monarchy] who are currently at the end of their tether about this group” said Attaporn (“ผมจึงไม่เข้าใจความนึกคิดของอาจารย์กลุ่มเล็กๆ กลุ่มนี้ว่า การที่กฏหมายห้ามหมิ่นประมาท ดูหมิ่น หรือแสดงความอาฆาตมาดร้ายพระมหากษัตริย์ จะทำให้บ้านถล่มดินทลายหรือทำให้คนกลุ่มนี้ขาดใจตายหรืออย่างไร จึงต้องดิ้นรนทุกวิถีทางที่จะแก้ไขมาตรา 112 และบุคคลที่ตกเป็นผู้ต้องหาหรือจำเลยในคดีนี้ทุกคน ล้วนแต่มีพฤติการณ์ที่เข้าข่ายความผิดมีพยานหลักฐานชัดเจน ซึ่งมีสิทธิที่ต่อสู้เพื่อพิสูจน์ความถูกผิดของตนเอง ไม่เคยปรากฏว่า คนบริสุทธิ์ก็ถูกยัดเยียดความผิดหรือตกเป็นเหยื่อของมาตรา 112 คำพูดดังกล่าวจึงการบิดเบือนเพื่อตอบสนองเป้าหมายที่ก้าวไปไกลกว่าการแก้ไขมาตรา 112 ผมขอให้กลุ่มนิติราษฎร์หยุดการเคลื่อนไหวโดยเด็ดขาด และถ้ายังเคลื่อนไหวในประเด็นนี้ต่อไปก็จะเผชิญหน้ากับพลังของความจงรักภักดีที่กำลังหมดความอดทนต่อการกระทำของคนกลุ่มนี้Ž นายอรรถพรกล่าว)

He is also paraphrased as stating, I want the Nittirat group to change their citizenship and to continue their protest movement in a country which allows freedom to criticize the monarch. They should not hold Thai citizenship (ขอให้กลุ่มนิติราษฎร์โอนสัญชาติไปเคลื่อนไหวในประเทศที่ให้เสรีภาพในการวิพากษ์วิจารณ์พระมหากษัตริย์ ไม่ควรถือสัญชาติไทย).

BP: Is Attaporn trying to compete with Mallika, one of the other Deputy spokesperson of the Democrats? In some ways, Attaporn’s comments are not surprising. In January 2011, the Bangkok Post:

Democrat MP Attaporn Ponlaboot has accused red-shirt leaders of exploiting their supporters in a desperate bid to achieve their outdated, hidden political agenda.

Mr Attaporn cautioned supporters of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) that their leaders’ ideology is to change the regime and posed a threat to highest institute.

BP: You can see that Attaporn has form in attacking people and accusing them of wanting to overthrow the monarchy…..

btw, what exactly does encounter a force of those loyal to the monarchy mean?

h/t to PPT for the Bangkok Post and Prachatai articles


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