Connect with us


Anti-coup activist acquitted of sedition, cybercrime charges

Jack Burton



PHOTO: Arnaud Dubus

A pro-democracy activist was acquitted today of sedition and cybercrime charges for criticising the ruling junta back in 2014. He was accused of violating Section 116 of the Criminal Code and the Computer Crime Act by posting messages against the 2014 coup that deposed PM Yingluck Shinawatra. The messages were posted between May 30 and June 4, 2015, when martial law was in effect and criticising the government was illegal.

In its verdict handed down today, the court said 52 year old Sombat Boon-ngamanon didn’t violate sedition laws as he was merely expressing his political opinions and no one protested as a result of his actions. The charge was filed against him by the junta regime – the National Council for Peace and Order – shortly after it seized power in May 2014.

“I’m glad since I’ve been fighting for this for 6 years. This verdict is not only for me. It will set the precedent for future coups that people can rightfully express their opinions and criticise coup-makers.”

Sombat was arrested on the night of June 2014 and arraigned in a military court an intelligence agency was able to track him by his IP address, which he used to post anti-junta messages on social media. He was later granted bail on a 600,000 baht bond on the condition that he refrain from political activities.

Sombat says he’ll hand out free meals at McDonald’s San Kamphaeng branch in Chiang Mai on Sunday to celebrate the ruling.

He still faces indictment in another sedition case for his protest in May 2014, in which he defied the junta’s ban on assembly and called for an election 2 days after Prayut Chan-ocha staged a coup against an elected government.

Known for his humorous political gimmicks, he tried to register the “Troll Party” to run in the 2019 general elections but was rejected by the Election Commission on the grounds that the name was inappropriate.

Sombat has been campaigning for more democratic rule since the 2006 coup that deposed PM Thaksin Shinawatra.

SOURCES: Khaosod English | Nation Thailand


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Saturday: 14,260 new infections, news briefs

Thailand8 hours ago

Department head predicts Covid-19 could last up to another year

World10 hours ago

Swedish prison hostage situation resolved with pizza

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand11 hours ago

Minister: Foreigners, migrant workers are cared for amid Covid-19

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

“Withhold Intubation” for certain older Thammasat Hospital patients

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

Bang Sue vaccination centre open for expats 60+, under must wait

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus News & Updates17 hours ago

“Covid-19” deaths said to cause crematorium in Bangkok to partially collapse

Thailand17 hours ago

Nakhon Sawan farmers make large profits growing fingerroot as Covid cure

Coronavirus (Covid-19)18 hours ago

Leaked document: military arranging private Moderna vaccines

Thailand18 hours ago

Nakhon Si Thammarat arrest drug suspect hiding in jar

Media18 hours ago

19 year old man drowns in a Kanchanaburi river while rescuing his puppy

Thailand18 hours ago

Online registration site up for interprovincial travel permission

Thailand19 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Sandbox tweak, ‘filthy rich’ visa, Chon Buri restrictions | July 23

Phuket19 hours ago

18 infections today in Phuket creeps closer to 90/week threshold

Thailand19 hours ago

BMA plans to open 53 “community isolation centres”

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8