Khon Kaen University students show support for lèse majesté convicted student artist

A group of five students from Khon Kaen University in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen on Saturday held a symbolic activity at the university to mourn the court’s decision to convict a student theatre activist whose education and future were jeopardized after he was found guilty last week for starring in a play judged to constitute lèse majesté. 
The activity was held during the 12th Art Lane, held to exhibit the dissertations of members of the final year undergraduates of Khon Kaen’s Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, where Patiwat S., aka Bank, was a fifth year student before his arrest in 2014under Article 112, or the lèse majesté law.  
The five students were from Sum Kieow Dao, a student activist group based at the university where Patiwat was a core member.  
If Patiwat was not convicted, he would have performed folk music -- his major, said the group -- at this very event. 
They held placards reading “Art is not a crime” and “We miss Bank.”
On Monday the criminal court sentenced Patiwat and Pornthip M. to two years and six months in prison each. Their “crimes” were to perform in and co-organize the Wolf Bride, a play about a fictional monarch in a fictional land, performed to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1973 student uprising. 
The symbolic protest was called off after university staff chased them away. 
Read related story:

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”