Limitless Cinema in Broken English

April 23, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 8:36 pm

The information below comes from Bangkok Post’s website:


Activist denies charge of lese majeste


A former student activist has proclaimed his innocence after being charged with lese majeste for refusing to rise when the royal anthem was played in a cinema.

Police yesterday brought a lese majeste charge against Chotisak Onsoong, 27, accusing him of violating Article 112 of the Criminal Code by refusing to rise when the royal anthem was played before the screening of a film last September.

Mr Chotisak is a secretary of the September 19 Network against the Coup, and is a former deputy secretary-general of the Students Federation of Thailand.

On Sept 20 last year, Mr Chotisak and his friends went together to see a film at a cinema in Bangkok.

As is customary, the royal anthem was played before the movie started and everyone in attendance was supposed to stand up to show respect. However, Mr Chusak remained seated.

Nawamin Witthayakul, 40, who was sitting two seats away from Mr Chotisak, told him to rise. He remained seated.

Mr Nawamin demanded the cinema staff take action against Mr Chotisak, to no avail. On Sept 25 Mr Nawamin asked police to press charges, but they did not call Mr Chotisak in to hear the charge until yesterday.

Mr Chotisak insisted he did nothing wrong and had no intention of offending His Majesty the King.

”To not rise [when the royal anthem is played] is not an offence against anyone. That’s what I think,” he said.

”We have different ways of looking at things.”

He said the public had the right to make a choice, whether to rise or not.

The right to make a choice according to one’s beliefs and faith was guaranteed by Articles 4 and 28 of the constitution.

Mr Chotisak called for Article 112 of the Criminal Code to be revoked. He said it imposes restrictions on the freedom of the people and had often been used against people with different political ideals.

The lese majeste law tends to be open to an overly broad interpretation.

Pol Lt Sophet Chanpolngam, of Pathumwan police station, said police would recommend Mr Chotisak be indicted.

Mr Chotisak was released after he acknowledged the charge at the police station”


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