Mittwoch, 8. Mai 2013

1st anniversary of Ampon Tangnoppakul's death


On the 8th May 2012, 61 year old Khun Ampon Tangnoppakul (aka Uncle SMS or Khun Ah-Kong), a political prisoner and victim of Thailand's draconian lèse majesté-law (article 112 of the Criminal Code)   died in prison. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison, although he was severely ill, for allegedly sending four SMS's insulting the monarchy .

I am strongly convinced that Khun Ah-Kong was innocent and was just sentenced to 20 years in prison because the court wanted to make an exemple of Khun Ampon.

Even the ultra-royalist and hardcore defender of article 112 Dr. Tul Sittisomwong explainned on 31st January 2013 at the FCCT:
...And I am asked about/was ordered to check this case, too. And finally I find out that, and I believe that Ah-Kong never sent that SMS. But his ...
Dr. Tul Sittisomwong's statement at the FCCT

The court and  the state prosecutor also couldn't find or deliver any proof of Khun Ah-Akongs "crime".
The court explained:
...The prosecutor could not expressly prove that the defendant sent the messages as mentioned in the charge ...
Therefore the court convicted Ampon Tangnoppakul because he couldn't prove his innocence.

Thanthawut Taweewarodomkul, also a lèse majesté convict who took good care of Amphon while they were in prison together. He was one of the last persons to have seen him alive, stated in court as a witness:
Amphon was imprisoned in Zone 8, a maximum security zone where prisoners convicted of serious crimes were incarcerated, some afflicted with contagious diseases such as tuberculosis or HIV/AIDS...
...Amphon had told Thanthawut that when he went to the medical facility for the first time, the doctors did not diagnose his illness, but gave him painkillers for his stomach pain. Only when he cried out the second time did the doctors examine him, but with some contemptuous remarks about his alleged offences to the monarchy...

Thanthawut Taweewarodomkul with his son.

Images from the commemoration ceremony at the Criminal Court at Ratchadapisek Road on May 5th 2013.

The activist and poet Maineung K. Kuntee

Rosmalin Tangnoppakul, Ampon's widow (on the right), next to her Suda Rangkupan.

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