Number of lèse-majesté suspects with mental-illness increase after 2014 coup

A report reveals that Thai justice system hardly take mental-illness of lèse-majesté suspects into account and the number of lèse-majesté cases against mental-illnesses has increased after the 2014 coup. 
On Tuesday, 28 June 2016, Thailand’s Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) published a report showing the obvious increase in number of lèse-majesté lawsuits against people with mental-illness after the 2014 coup as six people with mental-illness have been already prosecuted under Article 112 of the Criminal Code since the coup.      
According to the report, those mental-illnesses have a chronic mental disorder which make them unable to control themselves sometimes. However, the court rarely take those illnesses into account. For instance, Tanet Nontakoat, who has an auditory hallucination illness, was sentenced to five years jail term for sending a lèse-majesté message via e-mail. He sent the email during the 2010 political violence but was prosecuted in 2014 under the junta regime.
During the investigation process, Tanet was sent to a mental health institute and his psychiatrist diagnosed that the lèse-majesté action was due to the mental-illness which made him unable to make a proper decision. However, the police told the court that Tanet properly cooperated in the investigation process without showing any sign of mental-illness. The court, thereafter, ruled the case regardless of Tanet’s mental health.  
The TLHR’s report also revealed that after the 2014 coup the junta has ordered the Royal Thai Police to rush investigation process of lèse-majesté cases and the legal boundary of the law has also been expanded. To illustrate, the criticism against the Crown Princess, the former Kings of the Chakkri dynasty, or even a royal family’s dog, was also classified as a breach to the Article 112, although the law was written to only protects the King, Queen, Crown Prince, and Regent.  


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