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Apparent calm in ‘Thai District’

Yu-Kyung Lee, Sumut Prakan/Bangkok(Thailand), 28 December 2014

The Junta has started to dismantle Laksi prison or “Prison for Political Prisoners” since mid-July, sending inmates to different jails. Laksi Prisoners were exclusively Red Shirts, who have been in jail since bloody crackdown in 2010. In January 2012, Yingluck government, which was elected thanks to Red Shirts’ support previous year, has institutionalized recommendations made by National Reconciliation Commission. One of them was not to mix up political prisoners with other inmates. The Junta however has turned over everything of this by issuing order no.402 on November 4th to close Laksi Prison.

According to order no.37, those who gathered more than 5, those who defy the Junta’s summon, those who violated criminal code 116 which offense is linked to treason, and the criminal code 112 – the infamous lese majeste charge – are to be brought to military court. As of mid-October, according to TLHR, 69 cases out of 102 political cases are on military court while 33 cases are in civilian court.

Surakrit Chaimonkul (36) died in prison. He was accused of gunning down anti-election activist on January 26 2014. He denied all charges. (Photo © Lee Yu Kyung 2014)

Bangkok Remand Prison, wherein Surakrit Chaimongkul(36) died. (Photo © Lee Yu Kyung 2010)

Aree Chaimonjul (55), mother of Surakrit who died in prison, was praying at the son’s funeral. She insisted not to cremate son’s body, but cremation was eventually done on November 30. (Photo © Lee Yu Kyung 2014)

Surakrit Chaimonkul (36) died in prison. Pictures of his body have shown some bruise marks. It’s not clear whether he died of probably torture during the interrogation, beating by inmates or disease. (Photo © Lee Yu Kyung 2014)

A supporter of PDRC (People’s Democratic Reform Committee) – latest version of “Yellow Shirts” – made a condolence to Suthin Tharatin, who was gunned down by assailant while he led mob to disturb advance voting process on January 26 2014. (Photo © Lee Yu Kyung 2014)

Yingluck Shinawatra, former Prime Minister has casted her vote on February 2nd 2014. The February election was nullified by Constitutional Court afterwards. She was ousted by the latest coup. She remains the last elected Prime Minister till now.  (Photo © Lee Yu Kyung 2014)

Activists from PDRC (People’s Democratic Reform Committee) – latest version of “Yellow Shirts” were yelling and threatening at dozens of residents who were trying to walk towards polling station on February 2nd in Bangkok. PDRC’s 7 months long- occupation on the street of Bangkok has been led to Military coup on May 22.  (Photo © Lee Yu Kyung 2014)

A voter was weeping as she, along with her neighbors, was blocked to vote on February 2nd. The early election was held amid turmoil caused by anti-election activists, or PDRC supporters. PDRC’s 7 months long- occupation on the street of Bangkok has been led to Military coup on May 22.  (Photo © Lee Yu Kyung 2014)

Ake Ottagon (34) at ‘Respect My Vote’ campaign early this year. He was shouting “Respect My Vote!” at a press conference by Democrats - the party associated with conservatives and has a history of  boycotting election. Since his slogan has become campaign for democracy. (Photo © Lee Yu Kyung 2014)

A soldiers near Democracy Monument in Bangkok was checking Social Network System (or SNS) as there’s attempt for gathering by handful of activists to support for students, who were arrested days ago for ‘three finger salute’ at the cinema screening ‘Hunger Game’. Three fingers salute has become a symbol of resistance against authoritarian rule in Thailand. And now it’s banned. (Photo © Lee Yu Kyung 2014)

Nacha Kong-Udom, student activist gave an interview on the spot as dozens of activists tried to gather near Democracy Monument in Bangkok on November 23. Nacha was arrested multiple times and released in repeat. One such occasion was when she did ‘three finger salute’ at the cinema screening ‘Hunger Game’ in November. Three fingers salute has become a symbol of resistance against authoritarian rule in Thailand. And now it’s banned. (Photo © Lee Yu Kyung 2014)

Student activists and human rights lawyer together sand a song at a small gathering near Democracy Monument on November 23. Students were among those who were arrested ‘three finger salute’ at the cinema screening ‘Hunger Game’ in November. Three fingers salute has become a symbol of resistance against authoritarian rule in Thailand. And now it’s banned. (Photo © Lee Yu Kyung 2014)

In comparison to the civilian court, the military court have tried only five lese majeste cases since 2010, but as many as four cases were tried in camera. (Source : iLaw)

On average military courts have passed out jail sentences for lese majeste twice as high as civilian courts. (Source : iLaw)

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