Police arrest activist singer accused of torching portrait of King Vajiralongkorn

Photo: @ammybottomblues / Instagram
Photo: @ammybottomblues / Instagram

A singer-turned-activist whose sharp verses have been chanted at protests since last year was arrested in Ayutthaya province this morning.

Best known by his stage name Ammy the Bottom Blues, Chaiamorn Kaewwiboonpan was taken into custody at a rented room on suspicion of insulting King Vajiralongkorn by setting fire to one of his portraits Sunday.

Chaimorn has been taken to the Police General Hospital for treatment of several injuries, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights. It was unclear how he sustained the injuries. He was to be questioned by the police at 11am. 

According to Maj. Gen. Piya Tawichai, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, the 32-year-old singer was one of three suspects in the burning of a portrait of King Vajiralongkorn in front of the Klong Prem Central Prison, a maximum security facility in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district. 

A photo of flames racing up a large, gilded portrait were posted to his Instagram account on Sunday.

Chaiamorn also faces charges of violating the Computer Crime Act, trespassing on government property and arson. An arson conviction alone can result in life in prison or death, while insulting the monarchy is punishable up to 15 years in prison.

Last year his “1-2-3-4-5, Fuck you Prayuth!” anthem was chanted by massive crowds filling downtown Bangkok. #SaveAmmy is one of the top trending hashtags on Thai Twitter today.

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