Computer programmer Surapak Puchaieseng was arrested, detained and had his computer confiscated after “insulting” the Thai royal family on Facebook. Puchaieseng‘s arrest marks the first lèse majesté case since prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra was elected. He also was accused of violating the 2007 Computer Crimes Act. Yingluck is the sister of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and assumed office in August 2011.
On May 26, Thai authorities arrested Lerpong Wichaikhammat in his home, after accusing him of criticizing the country’s monarchy. He was denied bail, charged with “inciting public unrest” and violating Thailand’s “Computer Crimes Act.”
Lauren Galacia manages the Asia program. Prior to joining Freedom House, she oversaw the development and implementation of citizen engagement programs throughout Asia and Eurasia, with a focus on Thailand and Burma.