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David Streckfuss : « There is a broad consensus in Thailand that the LM law is prone to abuse”

Question : We could have expected the current government to be more lenient on the issue of lèse-majesté. It does not seem to be the case. David Streckfuss : I am not sure that we can say at this point that the current government has been harsher in the use of the lèse-majesté law, because there are statistics for this year that show that there has been a decrease in the number of cases compared to last year, but it does not break it down month by month. It is probably going to end up with a third of the cases that there was in 2010, for the charges coming before the lower court. So I think it is too early to say what the Peua Thai has been doing with this law until we see more details.But on the face of it, it seems that the Peua Thai has chosen to distance itself from Red Shirts elements who have been either critical of the institution or critical of the 112 law itself. So that they don’t become themselves accused of being uninterested in the institution, they have to appear even more loyal than the opposition.Can we say that the lèse-majesté law is not only to protect the royal family, but also a tool to protect a system of power ?

Question : We could have expected the current government to be more lenient on the issue of lèse-majesté. It does not seem to be the case. David Streckfuss : I am not sure that we can say at this point that the current government has been harsher in the use of the lèse-majesté law, because there are statistics for this year that show that there has been a decrease in the number of cases compared to last year, but it does not break it down month by month. It is probably going to end up with a third of the cases that there was in 2010, for the charges coming before the lower court. So I think it is too early to say what the Peua Thai has been doing with this law until we see more details.But on the face of it, it seems that the Peua Thai has chosen to distance itself from Red Shirts elements who have been either critical of the institution or critical of the 112 law itself. So that they don’t become themselves accused of being uninterested in the institution, they have to appear even more loyal than the opposition.Can we say that the lèse-majesté law is not only to protect the royal family, but also a tool to protect a system of power ?

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David Streckfuss : « There is a broad consensus in Thailand that the LM law is prone to abuse”

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