Friday, January 25, 2013

Thailand: Fake "Rights" Crusader Gets 10 Year Jail Sentence

Thaksin holding Somyot's "Voice of Taksin" publications.
January 25, 2013 (AltThaiNews-Tony Cartalucci) - Somyot Prueksakasensuk (sometimes spelled Somyos) has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for lese majeste, in Thailand. He was a prominent opposition leader and supporter of Thaksin Shinawatra, and was the editor of a publication titled, "Voice of Taksin." 

While Somyot portrayed himself as a champion for democracy, his "Voice of Taksin" magazine was overtly a clearinghouse for Thaksin Shinawatra and his political party. Thaksin, Thailand's infamous billionaire ex-prime minister who maintains substantial foreign corporate-financier backing, was ousted from power in 2006 after becoming increasingly autocratic - and at one point, had 3,000 people put to death extrajudicially in the streets as part of a botched "War on Drugs."

Somyot's "Voice of Taksin" featured regular photos of Thaksin, accompanied by scanned, handwritten letters signed by Thaksin himself. Somyot's "Voice of Taksin" magazine also featured specific and repeated threats of violence both overt and insidiously implied in nearly every issue. At one point, Somyot's publication even featured the pictures, telephone numbers, addresses and names of judges ruling against Thaksin Shinawatra in one of his many pending trials. "Voice of Taksin" also made repeated calls for a "people's war," including explicit calls for Thais to join armed violence that was unfolding in Bangkok in 2010.

Image: A section from Somyot's "Voice of Taksin" publication releasing the personal details of judges involved in court cases against Thaksin Shinwatra. The article was preceded by stories of judges who had been killed for making "unfair" rulings. 

Images: A selection from Somyot's "Voice of Taksin" publication showing blood covered threats, calls to arms, implicit threats, hanging statesmen, and cult-like adulation of Thaksin Shinawatra. Whatever "Voice of Taksin" and Somyot's "activism" was, it wasn't "pro-democracy," and most certainly not something that would be tolerated in even the most tolerant nations abroad. Archives with translations can be found via

In even the most liberal nations, making explicit threats of violence against anyone is a crime punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment. For example, under 18 USC Chapter 41 - EXTORTION AND THREATS, there are multiple sections codifying strict punishments including lengthy prison terms for making threats against the leaders, officers, and representatives of the United States. Similar laws are in place across the European Union and many of the United Nations' member states.

So it is surprising perhaps, that the United Nations, the European Union, and the United States have condemned the imprisonment of Somyot, who was clearly charged with lese majeste, not for merely insulting Thailand's revered institutions, but for overtly threatening both it directly, as well as specific individuals serving within the Thai government. US-based Freedom House was particularly vocal about its condemnation of Somyot's imprisonment, with the Bangkok Post reporting in their article "UN denounces Somyot verdict:"
The Washington-based think-tank, Freedom House, also denounced the verdict and called for Mr Somyot's immediate release.

It urged the government to amend laws to protect free expression in accordance with international human rights standards.

"It is deeply concerning that free speech advocates like Mr Somyot are targeted, detained, and meted out sentences such as this," said Sue Gunawardena-Vaughn, director of Southeast Asia programmes at Freedom House.

The government's prosecution of speech critical of the monarchy stifles open debate and contributes to Thailand's depressed ratings in Freedom House's annual surveys, she said.

It should be noted however, that Freedom House is chaired by many directors of questionable conflicts of interest, not the least of which is Kenneth Adelman, who had actually served as Thaksin Shinawatra's lobbyist under Edelman PR (here and here) shortly after Thaksin's ousting from power in 2006. In such light, Freedom House's opinion of Somyot's sentencing is not only biased and compromised, but all together absurd. 

It must also be remembered that the UN is currently engaged in the whitewashing of terrorists in Syria, now openly led by the sectarian extremist Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda's Al-Nusra front, portraying the mass-murdering, foreign armed movement as an indigenous "pro-democracy uprising." The European Union, meanwhile, is not only arming these terrorists in both Syria and Libya, but has occupation forces reconquering their old colonies across large swaths of Africa.

It is clear that Somyot is a man who, had he targeted US Congressmen and the US President with the same crass and overt threats he made toward Thailand and its government, would have found himself just as quickly imprisoned by the very people now defending him. He is defended by the US, UN, and EU, not because he is a true champion for human rights and democracy, but because he represents the same hypocrisy that drives Western forces across Africa, Western-armed terrorists into Syria, and perpetual global war and exploitation far beyond.

Somyot is a man who most certainly belongs in jail, and in addition to removing his negative, violent influence from society, also serves as a stark warning to other would-be faux-crusaders who seek to divide and destroy in the name of noble pursuits like freedom and democracy.