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Thai Activist Jailed For the Crime of Sharing an Article on Facebook (eff.org) 120

An anonymous reader shares a report: Thai activist Jatuphat "Pai" Boonpattaraksa was sentenced this week to two and a half years in prison -- for the crime of sharing a BBC article on Facebook. The Thai-language article profiled Thailand's new king and, while thousands of users shared it, only Jutaphat was found to violate Thailand's strict lese majeste laws against insulting, defaming, or threatening the monarchy. The sentence comes after Jatuphat has already spent eight months in detention without bail. During this time, Jatuphat has fought additional charges for violating the Thai military junta's ban on political gatherings and for other activism with Dao Din, an anti-coup group. While in trial in military court, Jatuphat also accepted the Gwangzu Prize for Human Rights. When he was arrested last December, Jatuphat was the first person to be charged with lese majeste since the former King Bhumibol passed away and his son Vajiralongkorn took the throne. (He was not, however, the first to receive a sentence -- this past June saw one of the harshest rulings to date, with one man waiting over a year in jail to be sentenced to 35 years for Facebook posts critical of the royal family.) The conviction, which appears to have singled Jatuphat out among thousands of other Facebook users who shared the article, sends a strong message to other activists and netizens: overbroad laws like lese majeste can and will be used to target those who oppose military rule in Thailand.
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Thai Activist Jailed For the Crime of Sharing an Article on Facebook

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  • Meanwhile at Google (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @10:45AM (#55033963)

    If he were at Google, he might only have been doxxed, fired and blacklisted.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Big Media decided to leave that tidbit out.

    • by Kohath ( 38547 )

      Yeah, censorship is in. The Thai government and the totalitarian majority in Silicon Valley have much in common.

    • Actually, considering what the Thai government is like, it's more likely him NOT being one is the problem...

  • by bungo ( 50628 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @10:49AM (#55033981)

    Another click bait headline. I liked Slashdot better when we had dupes every day, and what Taco did couldn't be described as editing.

    He was jailed because he was a pro-domacracy activist, and they used the suppressive laws to silence him.

    This is no different to when they used the same law to jail an activist who 'liked' a face book post.

    Oppressive government uses oppressive law to suppress dissidents. Hmmm... doesn't make a very clickable headline.

    • >He was jailed because he was a pro-domacracy activist, and they used the suppressive laws to silence him.

      Which is something I just don't get. If you're going to arbitrarily apply laws in order to lock up dissenters... just lock up the dissenters. Everybody knows what you're doing anyway, the percentage in denial who would rebel if denial was made more difficult is insignificant.

      • Because most Thai people do not consider insulting the King to be an OK thing, they might prefer not to have the law but also they hate people who they see doing it. If they only lock him up, people only know that he is bad in the eyes of the military government. If they accuse him of insulting King Rama, they will certainly hate him.

        For the most part, central Thais are not going to question it if the King decides you are excessively meddlesome. Most of the dissidents are from other regions, and perhaps do

    • Another click bait headline. I liked Slashdot better when we had dupes every day, and what Taco did couldn't be described as editing.

      He was jailed because he was a pro-domacracy activist, and they used the suppressive laws to silence him.

      Free Taco!

  • We have an a natural born right to speech and thought. Unfortunately, not all countries observe that. This is why we must jealously guard everyone's freedom of speech, even when they choose to exercise the right to utter and state absolutely abhorrent ideas.
    • There is no such thing as a natural right. Rights are a concept we developed and uphold with better morale understanding to improve the world we live in. We found when things were better for everyone, it was almost always better for the individual as well. At the end of the day, we decided this is the right way to do things, other people said it was wrong to hold their power.
      • There is no such thing as a natural right.

        Spoken like the totalitarian prick that you are.

    • You have the right to speech and thought. Too bad that today far too many that use the former forgo the latter...

    • This is true. I'm all in support of free speech. I don't think some of these neo-nazis should have been silenced. That said however, I cannot deny the feeling of schadenfreude that show up when inconveniences happen to bad people.

    • by mark-t ( 151149 )

      I would suggest only that we have a natural born right to freedom of thought the only way to deprive you of that right being to subject you directly to aggressive brainwashing methods or the direct removal of certain parts of the brain, leaving behind someone without any individuality at all.

      Certainly the things that you may get exposed to, which can be controlled by external forces or powers, can to a very large degree control exactly what you may think about, but short of such aforementioned aggressiv

  • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @10:58AM (#55034047)
    • Man Behind Anti-Islam Video Gets Prison Term

      The problem isn't that he got a prison term. He got that for violating his probation on a different matter. The problem is that Obama made the false claim about the video pertaining to Benghazi in the first place, and that the NYT never challenged Obama's claim, nor corrected their own articles after the fact.

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        It's also that he got a prison term. It was politically convenient to put him in prison. There are enough laws to put almost anyone in prison if the government really wants to and spends enough time and money trying to trip a person up.

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        Also, Obama gets to tell all the lies he wants. And if you want to complain about it, you're a crazy unhinged person. That's what we learned in 2012. The facts don't matter, especially not to the media.

        It was the final shovel of dirt on the grave of truth in US public discourse.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          The facts don't matter, especially not to the media.

          There are many fact checking websites which provide unbiased data regarding the truthfulness of our political leaders. Let's examine a few. Keep in mind that they are comparing 8 years of Obama's presidency to 100+ days of Trump.

          A search of Snopes.com articles concerning Barack Obama (329) [snopes.com] vs Donald Trump (865). [snopes.com]

          Politifact.com summary of Barack Obama [politifact.com] vs Donald Trump [politifact.com]. The two graphs are very informative.

          FactCheck.org summary of Obama's Whoppers [factcheck.org] vs Trump's Whoppers [factcheck.org].

          While none of these sites gave Barack Obam

          • by Kohath ( 38547 )

            They cheerlead for lies and many times reluctantly acknowledge the facts days or weeks or sometimes years later.

            And then change the subject (to Trump or WTF-ever), because the agenda comes first, last, and always.

            (Trump says dumb stuff. He's also bad. So what? We would have Romney as Predident now if the media wanted someone good. They clearly don't -- agenda first, last, and always.)

  • Here's what happens when you post on Facebook (for God's sake!) https://www.theguardian.com/wo... [theguardian.com]
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @11:48AM (#55034467)

    If the words of a mere mortal scare him?

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      If the words of a mere mortal scare him?

      You must be sanook at parties.

      The thing is, it isn't the King who locks people up.

      The King of Thailand hasn't wielded any real political power since 1932, he's a figurehead much like the royalty of Europe. Thailand has been by large, a ill-functioning democracy interrupted by bouts of military dictatorship. Right now is one of those bouts. The Thai military staged a coup in 2014 when elections just didn't go the way they wanted. Politicians have always used the Leste Majesty laws for political and per

      • The king has no real power, that is true.
        However Thailand is formed by the will of King Rama the 9th.
        If not for him, the country would be a poor third world country drowned in corruption an a vassal to the USA, like the Philippines e.g.
        Buddhism has gods, I suggest to reread a bit ;) Everyone who waives nirvana and reincarnates as a human (like the Dalai Lhama) is considered a god. But perhaps that is just a playing with words.

        • You may not have noticed the news in Thailand the past year, but the current King is Rama X.

          Buddhism does not have Gods, though Gautama Buddha certainly believed in Gods. He made clear though that it wasn't part of the teaching, and worrying about it brings suffering.

          The Dalai Lama is a Tibetan Buddhist. That's in a whole different branch of Buddhism than Thailand. Thai Buddhism is from the Theravada branch, so the only other place with similar religion is Sri Lanka. In Theravada Buddhism even they generall

          • Erm, yes the current king is Rama X, hence I explicitly wrote Rama IX ... no idea what the misunderstanding is.

            A good overview about gods in Buddhism you can find here: https://www.thoughtco.com/gods... [thoughtco.com]

            • I just explained that Buddhism doesn't have gods, but that most Buddhists including Gautama Buddha believe in Gods, but explicitly told followers not to seek those answers.

              There is no need to then provide a link to try to correct my understanding. If you don't understand, you could ask questions. If you think you do understand, you could express that understanding. But why link? No need for a link, I'm right here and I can explain it to you. If you don't understand it, how would you possibly convince me?

              I d

              • Rama IX formed modern Thailand by giving advice and the population/governments followed his advice.

                I'm not particular interested in your interpretation of Buddhism, though. And you seem not to know much about "Buddhistic gods", hence I gave you a link.

                Well, if you are not interested in the link, fine :D

                • In that sort of existential argument, it passed to Rama X and now he's giving advice.

                  You're not interesting in Thai Buddhism, that's fine don't credit me with the beliefs though! The link you gave says that "no," Buddhists don't have Gods. But it also says that in Buddhism you can define words very very broadly so you can also make the answer to be "yes." But it is clear that for the meaning of "God" used by all the major religions, the answer is no.

                  The real problem with the link is that it is about a diffe

                  • Thai Buddhism has no gods.
                    Basically all Buddhists have no gods.

                    They simply accept that there are gods, but they don't pray to them. Then comes the complex stuff with avatars and reborn gods on earth ...

                    I dont get what your Rama IX/X thing is about. Thailand today is formed by Rama IX. Rama X did nothing os far, but lets see.

                    • Thai Buddhism has no gods.
                      Basically all Buddhists have no gods.

                      They simply accept that there are gods, but they don't pray to them.

                      Closer, but still off.

                      Buddhism has no Gods. Buddhists often do have Gods. Buddhism asserts plainly that it does not address issues relating to Gods other than to teach you that if you have attachment to Gods, you will likely suffer for it. Metaphysical belief in Gods is seen as neutral and subjective; it is the attachment, the idea that belief in Gods is important which they reject.

                      You make no point about Rama IX having formed Thailand. His rule started a decade after the modern Thai state is considered to

      • Then he is unfit for the title of king, for a king that cannot or isn't willing to unite and lead his people out of a tyranny imposed by external or (worse) internal enemies of the people is no king.

        I expect from a king that he is more than a puppet. If that's all he is, replace him with some stuffed animal. It's cheaper and has the same function.

  • But I could get behind the idea of jailing people for posting to Facebook.

  • I'd apply this to all people who post on Facebook.

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