Friday, August 28, 2009

Darunee "Da Torpedo" Chanchoengsilpakul Gets 18 years

Bangkok Post

The Criminal Court on Monday morninng sentenced Daranee Chanchoengsilpakul, alias Da Torpedo, to 18 years imprisonment for lese majeste.

The court ruled that Ms Daranee, a United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship member, made several remarks deemed to be lese majeste in a speech on the stage at a UDD rally at Sanam Luang on June 7 last year.

The court sentenced her to 18 years in jail without suspension.

After hearing the verdict, Ms Daranee, who was wearing a prison uniform and a surgical face mask, made a V sign with her hand to about 30 UDD supporters who turned up at the court in a show of support.

Eighteen years in prison for a political speech? Unbelievable. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any instance in the modern era where a person has received 18 years in jail for making a political speech, even in the most authoritarian countries.

I guarantee all the western countries that make a big stink about saving journalists and advocating for free speech for political dissidents will be stone silent over this case.

I can't still get my head around it. Eighteen years of life stripped away just for expressing political views.
The whole thing makes me sick to my stomach.


Unknown said...

There is no need to say anything but I assume everyone knows this song by heart:

ข้าวรพุทธเจ้า เอามโนและศิระกราน

นบพระภูมิบาล บุญดิเรก

เอกบรมจักริน พระสยามินทร์

พระยศยิ่งยง เย็นศิระเพราะพระบริบาล

ผลพระคุณ ธ รักษา ปวงประชาเป็นสุขศานต์

ขอบันดาล ธ ประสงค์ใด

จงสฤษดิ์ดัง หวังวรหฤทัย

ดุจถวายชัย ชโย

Long live the king!!!

hobby said...

No wonder people get frustrated and post all manner of mocking videos and images on the net.

I hope the net is filled with that stuff - serve them right IMO!

davidb98 said...

sad for Darunee

disgusted and ashamed that the Thai justice system is so perverted!

I hope the King is still alive enough to grant a pardon soon

I assume Prem, the Queen and the Prince are so scared of the Thai people that they support this legal atrocity

David Higgs said...

DARUNEE CHARNCHOENGSILPAKUL - More commonly known as "Da Torpedo," she delivered an exceptionally strong speech last year criticizing the 2006 coup and the monarchy. Her trial on lese majeste charges was closed for reasons of national security.

JAKRAPOB PENKAIR - A spokesman for ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Jakrapob had to resign as a minister in the pro-Thaksin government in May 2008 after being accused of slandering the king in a talk at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand (FCCT) in 2007. Prosecutors are yet to decide whether to press charges against Jakrapob, whose whereabouts are unknown. He is also accused of inciting violence during anti-government protests in April.

FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS' CLUB OF THAILAND BOARD OF DIRECTORS - Police are weighing up whether to investigate the 13-member FCCT board, which includes journalists from the BBC, Bloomberg and Wall Street Journal, after receiving a complaint from a staunch critic of Thaksin in July. Freelance translator Laksana Kornsil said the FCCT's sale of a DVD containing Jakrapob's disputed speech was an attempt to undermine the monarchy.

GILES UNGPAKORN - A leading leftist commentator and respected academic at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University, Giles fled Thailand in February 2009 after being charged with lese majeste for a book criticizing the 2006 coup. Giles fled to London, claiming he would not receive a fair trial and accusing the military and current government of using lese-majeste laws to silence dissent. A Thai court issued an arrest warrant for him in March.

SUWICHA THAKHOR - Suwicha was jailed for 10 years in April 2009 for posting comments on the Internet that were deemed insulting to the monarchy. His sentence was reduced from 20 years after he pleaded guilty. His arrest in January came during a government crackdown on thousands of Web pages considered critical or disrespectful of the palace.

HARRY NICOLAIDES - An Australian author, English teacher and long-time resident of Thailand, Nicolaides was sentenced in January 2009 to three years in jail for defaming the crown prince in his 2005 novel 'Verisimilitude'. Only seven copies of the book were sold. He received a royal pardon in February.

SULAK SIVARAKSA - A leading academic and long-time critic of the lese-majeste law, Sulak was taken from his Bangkok home late one night in November 2008 and driven 450 km (280 miles) to a police station in the northeast province of Khon Kaen. There he was charged with insulting the monarchy in a university lecture he gave in December the previous year.

CHOTISAK ONSOONG - The young political activist was accused by police in April 2008 of insulting the monarchy for refusing to stand during the royal anthem that precedes all movie screenings in Thailand. Prosecutors are still considering charges against him.

JITRA KOTCHADEJ - A union activist and friend of Chotisak, Jitra was fired by bosses at her clothing factory in August 2008 for appearing on a TV panel discussion wearing a T-shirt saying "Not standing is not a crime," a reference to Chotisak.

OLIVER JUFER - The Swiss national was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2007 for spraying black paint on huge public portraits of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He was pardoned and deported after serving four months.

fall said...

How many years does that guy who drive a car into a crowd at bus stand got?

joojee said...

Anyone who like to sent a postcard to her to cheer her up.

Daranee Charnchoengsilapakul, Room 1/3 Petch Building, Women’s Detention Centre, Klong Prem Central Prison, Ngamwongwan Rd, Lad Yao, Chatuchak, Bangkok

Note: Please do not include any political comments on your postcard, as prison guards will retain them.

Unknown said...

Thai national & royal Pardon?

Is this a bad joke?

Don't forget that even Veera Musikapong was also sentenced simply by saying "he would have a happier life if he were a prince."

Lucky Veera that he was granted a royal pardon, three years after sitting duck in jail.

Unknown said...

Do not judge the Thai unless you are Thai. Only Thai know how Thai should be judged, they are undeniably that unique. The Thai do things the Thai way. While that seem to be an obvious statement it remains an unalterable fact. Replace the word Thai with Japanese and you may understand what I mean. The Thai hold their royal institution in incredible esteem, anyone who messes with it will feel the wrath only a truly homogeneous society can dish out. Da Torpedo knew EXACTLY what she was doing when she said what she said and the results should not surprise her. Her lack of remorse is what will be her main problem from now on. No one, absolutely NO ONE, can show her mercy unless she says she is sorry, to do so would insult the King. No can show show her mercy except the King himself. He is the very imbodiment of good manners and good conduct in Thailand, he has an incredibly enormous amount of what used to be called "class" and "style", he is the essence of "cool" in a quintessentially Thai way of looking at things. As such, he will address this issue as a demonstration of how all Thais should address this kind of issue - with great "metha", Buddhist mercy and compassion. He will pardon her at the appropriate time even if she does not apologize. Long Live the King!