Royal anthem at cinema : a couple charged with lese-majeste

A Thai man and his female friend have been charged by police with lèse majesté for not standing for the royal anthem at a movie theatre in Bangkok late last year.

On April 5, 2008, Pathumwan District Police called to Chotisak Onsung, 26, and his friend, asking them to visit the police station to hear the charge for the offence alleged by Navamintr Witthayakul, 40, who was among the cinema audience.

Songkran said that according to the police investigator all witnesses had already been questioned, and a police committee had taken opinions from individuals and academics and decided to proceed the case. However, a panel under the National Police Committee will make the final decision on whether to pursue the case or not.

According to Songkran, Chotisak and his friend are likely to seek help from the Lawyers’ Council’s human rights committee.

On September 20, 2007, Chotisak and his friend went to a cinema in Central World shopping complex in downtown Bangkok. They were urged by Navamintr to stand up for the royal anthem which precedes every movie shown in Thailand’s cinemas, and they had a heated argument with the man. They claimed that they were physically abused. Afterwards they filed complaints at Pathumwan police station against Navamintr for verbal and physical abuse, damage to personal property and coercion, while Navamintr filed a lèse majesté complaint against them.

Article 112 of the Thai Criminal Code stipulates the penalty for a lèse majesté offence as 3-15 years’ imprisonment. (Prachatai)

If you went in a cinema in Thailand… you know that before the film there is… a royal anthem, and all the spectators… are required to stand up.

It’s always funny to look how the other people… stand up. Sometimes the body can speak louder than words. 😉

Anyway, after the BBC’s journalist (recent case).. here is a new case of lese-majeste. We’ll see.

Politicians, foreign journalist… and now common people… The effects of this law are mortiferous.

Compulsory respect, respect imposed by force and by regulations… is not respect anymore.

1 Response to “Royal anthem at cinema : a couple charged with lese-majeste”

  1. 1 Hugo 23 April 2008 at 2:11 pm

    Disgusting and unnacceptable! Jakrapob is also guilty of insulting the British Queen at the FCCT with Jonathan Head. What have the British done to Thailand to deserve this nasty attack on our glorious queen

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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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