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Thailand’s Foreign Affairs Ministry is attempting to convince other countries that those breaching the Thai lèse majesté law have committed a criminal offence not a political one.   

Don Pramudwinai, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, told the media on Wednesday that the Ministry is now trying to communicate with other countries where suspects under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law, are residing, in order to extradite them back to Thailand.

He said that currently the Ministry has already communicated with one country in order to bring back a lèse majesté suspect. However, he refused to reveal the name of the country.

When cooperating with other countries on this matter, the Ministry will inform them that those who allegedly defame the revered Thai monarchy have committed a criminal offence, not a political crime, added Don.  

The Deputy Minister pointed out that the Foreign Ministry has to wait for the police and prosecutors to submit the case files of lèse majesté suspects to the Ministry before it could proceed. Nonetheless, the Ministry is gradually making progress in the procedure.

When asked by the press about the possibility of bringing lèse majesté suspects back, Don refused to give further details and said only that he could not say much at the moment.

On 17 December 2014, Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, told the media that the Thai authorities are trying to cooperate with other countries to hunt down lèse majesté suspects in exile, one of whom is Somsak Jeamteerasakul, a Thammasat University political historian, who went into self-imposed exile shortly after the coup d’état in May.

“We must express to other countries how these people [lèse majesté suspects] have committed crimes according to Thai law,” Krungthepturakij News quoted Prawit as saying.

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