A Thai man was arrested yesterday by police while he was spraying slogans on a wall of Bangkok’s Grand Palace.
In an incident caught on film, police rushed to tackle the man as he was beginning to write a message in black spray paint on one of the city’s most-visited landmarks. He had already painted an anarchy symbol and the numerals “112,” which were crossed out in apparent protest to the royal defamation law.
The 25-year-old suspect was identified only as Bang-ern.
Update: Copycat anti-112 murals appear overnight in Bangkok
His graffiti seemed a likely protest against Section 112 of the Criminal Code, also known as lese majeste, which punishes any offense deemed to “defame, insult, or threaten” the monarchy with up to 15 years in prison per offense. The law, which had fallen out of favor, was brought back to arrest and charge political dissidents, particularly those demanding reform of the monarchy.
Bang-ern was taken to the Royal Palace Police Station before he was transferred to the Metropolitan Police Division 6. He was charged with two crimes: damaging a historical site and painting or writing on a public wall. There has not yet been a charge of royal defamation, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights.
A 15-year-old girl named Yok was also arrested after she followed Bang-ern to the police station. The police accused her of being involved in the incident.
Yok last year was among a number of people charged with royal insult after she participated in a protest calling for monarchy reform in October 2022. She was the youngest – 14 at the time – to ever be charged under Section 112, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights.
Leave A Reply
You must be logged in as a Coconuts User to comment.