Thai couple faces lèse majesté charges for not standing for royal anthem in cinema

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.

The lawyer for Chotisak and his friend, Songkran Pongbunjan, said that on Saturday, April 5, he met the police investigator to request a postponement to April 22 at 1.30pm because it was too soon for his clients to see the police that day.

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.

 


 

Comments

This case is ridiculous,

This case is ridiculous, both parties are guilty of troublemaking. All Thais love to stand for the King out of respect and immense appreciation. This seems to be a media ploy in order to remove attention from the Lese Majeste cases recently filed against Jakrapob, the BBC and the FCCT. Unlike the rare teenage brawl in a cinema where there may be gang rivalry or drugs involved, the Jakrapob series of cases seems more like divisive activities which in many lands may be viewed as treason.

do they arrest tourists

do they arrest tourists that dont stand for the King that they dont know-and if they do have a problem with the Law-they should be told at the entrance of the theatre because some cultures dont force you to respect Royalty

Don't worry. They will

Don't worry. They will never arrest tourists. Beside, they usually stand up in the occasion, even if they don't know the costum here, after gently being suggested by Thais. Why? Becasue they have common sense that they should respect what is respected by the people in the country they visited. I myself is a foreigner, and I could not imagine to allow myself to be arragant enough to challenge what the people here so overwhelmingly give respects and affections. This is a question of common sense.

Interesting story and controversy

Interesting story and controversy over ethics in the Phuket media industry - just watch this video!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfM4owfzGrs

This carry on is

This carry on is beyond belief, this is a tradition that started in the early 1900's and in developed countried who have moved on!- have stopped it since the the late 50's from protests of people who started to think for themselves and got out of soicism - http://prashantmullick.com/wlog/2004/06/23/national-anthem-in-cinema-halls/

That is the real problem, backard countries have a stoic population. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090411100659AAwM4Ss Very frustrating behavior!