Reporters Without Borders said Thursday it condemns the shameful ill-treatment by prison guards and fellow inmates of those convicted of lèse-majesté in Thailand.
Website designer Thantawut Thaweewarodomkul has been held in custody since April 2012 for posting three messages criticizing the king on the Internet. He was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for lèse-majesté and received a further three years for violating the Computer Crime Act.
In the Bangkok detention centre where he is held, Thantawut was hit in the face, suffering two black eyes.
“Some of the wardens took me to a different part of the jail and ordered other prisoners to beat me,” he told the French news agency AFP. Such practices are common and, according to information reaching Reporters without Borders, other prisoners often do not wait for orders from guards before beating up those convicted of lèse-majesté.
Thailand is among countries “under surveillance” on Reporters Without Borders’ list of Internet Enemies updated on 12 March this year. In 2009, the press freedom organization published a report on the abuse of the lèse-majesté laws in Thailand.