Yukti Mukdawijitra, lecturer at Thailand’s Thammasat University is facing royal defamation charges over a May 2021 Twitter post, where Mukdawijitra allegedly made a threat against the monarchy. These charges appear to be retaliation for his promotion of democracy and activism against military coups.
April 18, 2022
Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Thailand
Government House Pitsanulok Road, Dusit
Bangkok 10300, Kingdom of Thailand
Fax: +375 17 226 06 10
Dear Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha:
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers, and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
We are writing in regard to Yukti Mukdawijitra who is a lecturer in Sociology and Anthropology at Thailand’s Thammasat University. He has been charged with defaming the monarchy and violating the Computer Crimes Act over a May 2021 Twitter post. These charges were filed by lawyer Apiwat Kantong of the Office of the Prime Minister. Mukdawijitra’s tweet was interpreted as an insult and threat against King Vajiralongkorn. He is currently released on 100,000-baht bail.
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is concerned these charges may be retaliation for his promotion of democracy and activism against military coups. We are concerned that this is part of a recurring pattern of weaponizing lèse-majesté laws to silence dissent and the study of history.
We are respectfully asking your government to stop the prosecution of Mukdawijitra for a single Twitter post. The one Twitter post in question cannot reasonably be considered enough evidence to convict him. In case your government refuses to do so, we urge you to ensure that Mukdawijitra receives a fair trial.
Thank you for your attention to this serious matter. We will be closely following developments in Mukdawijitra’s case.
Chargé d’ Affaires a.i. of the U.S. Mission in Thailand
U.S. Embassy, Bangkok
95 Wireless Road
Antony J. Blinken
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520 USA
Phone: (202) 647-4000
H.E. Manasvi Srisodapol
Ambassador of Thailand to the United States
Royal Thai Embassy
1024 Wisconsin Ave, NW
Washington DC, 20007
Tel: (202) 944 3600
Fax: (202) 944 3611
H.E. Dr. Suriya Chindawongse
Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Thailand to the United Nations
136 East 39th Street,
New York, New York 10016
Tel: (212) 754-2230
Fax: (212) 644-8110