Surachai vows to fight for change

The Criminal Court has approved a police request to remand Surachai Danwatthananusorn for 12 days.

In the early hours of 22 Feb, Surachai was arrested at his house in Soi Pracharat 3 in Nonthaburi, and was taken to Chokechai Police Station.  He was charged with lèse majesté for his public speech on 18 Dec last year during a red-shirt activity entitled ‘The 2nd Eye Opening Talk’ at the Imperial Mall Lad Phrao.

Later that morning the police took him to the Criminal Court to seek court approval for his remand.  The court allowed the police to remand him for 12 days, or until 5 March.   

Surachai said that when the police approached to arrest him, a small skirmish occurred as he thought that he was under attack.

‘I’ve never experienced an arrest like this.  In fact, they could just make a phone call, and I’ll show up, because I’m already prepared,’ he said.

He said that he had been informed that the arrest warrant had been issued since January, but no summons had been delivered.  He had received a summons concerning another lèse majesté case in Chiang Mai, but it had been cancelled as, he thought, the Department of Special Investigation had taken over all his cases.

He said that he had been prepared to fight the case and probably a few more.  He will not just fight for his release.  He will neither confess nor deny the charges, but will fight for changes, including abolition of Section 112 of the Criminal Code which deals with lèse majesté.

He raised, for example, Japan as a possible model for regime change in Thailand.  

He said that he was not worried whether he would get the bail or not because he had already made his decision.

‘I want to make changes.  I want to send a signal to those high above that the current crisis of faith in the high institutions is very strong.  A civil war will occur if this government is still allowed to stay.  It has been looming since the events at Ratchaprasong.  If things are allowed to go on this way, it will certainly become like what’s happening in the Middle East.  So it doesn’t matter if I am released or not, but today Thailand has to change.  Those high above must find a way out of the country’s problems,’ Surachai said.

He insisted on not giving any evidence to the police.



Since 2007, Prachatai English has been covering underreported issues in Thailand, especially about democratization and human rights, despite the risk and pressure from the law and the authorities. However, with only 2 full-time reporters and increasing annual operating costs, keeping our work going is a challenge. Your support will ensure we stay a professional media source and be able to expand our team to meet the challenges and deliver timely and in-depth reporting.

• Simple steps to support Prachatai English

1. Bank transfer to account “โครงการหนังสือพิมพ์อินเทอร์เน็ต ประชาไท” or “Prachatai Online Newspaper” 091-0-21689-4, Krungthai Bank

2. Or, Transfer money via Paypal, to e-mail address: [email protected], please leave a comment on the transaction as “For Prachatai English”