Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Lese majeste cases in Thai military courts

Cases involving insults to the monarch (lese majeste) are being referred to the military courts under the current Thai government, according to this report:
[T]he laws of lese majeste, which outlaw insults or criticism of the current monarchy, have been extended in recent years to protect anything connected to the Crown as anxiety over the royal succession mounts.
Last week, two ultra-royalist military officers filed a complaint against Sulak Sivaraksa, 82, over remarks about King Naresuan, who reigned between 1595 and 1605 and is seen as a national hero.
Sivaraksa questioned Naresuan’s victory over a Burmese crown prince in an elephant duel in 1593 at the battle of Nong Sarai.
“Is Naresuan really a hero as they claim?” he reportedly said. “Did anyone of us actually see King Naresuan engaging in an elephant duel?”
Since the military took power in May, all lese majeste cases are being tried by military courts, where there is no possibility of appeal. The offense is punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment and, with cumulative sentencing, offenders can be sentenced to several decades in jail.
Exam question: what's wrong with this picture? 

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