By Pravit Rojanaphruk
The Nation on Sunday
Published on May 1, 2011
Red Power magazine editor Somyos Prueksakasemsuk was arrested yesterday afternoon for alleged lese majeste, after trying to leave the Kingdom on a fund-raising tour to Cambodia
The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) arrested Somyos after being notified by border officers at Aranyaprathet in Sa Kaew province that Somyos was leading some 30 or so red shirts on a fund-raising tour for the magazine to Angkor Wat.
Somyos was charged last week with alleged lese majeste over an article in the February and March issue of the now-banned Voice of Thaksin magazine, which he published in February. He denied the charge and insisted yesterday that he was innocent.
"We're fighting for the right to be human," he said on the phone shortly after 5pm yesterday, while inside a DSI vehicle on the way from Sa Kaew back to Bangkok.
It was unclear at press time if Somyos would be granted bail or not, but a DSI officer told a local media outlet they were determined to detain him until Monday, when a court would decide whether he should be given bail or not.
Speaking on his mobile phone, Somyos said he was surprised by the incident. He said the timing of his arrest, coupled with other developments, such as the crackdown on many red-shirt community radio stations, a new wave of internet censorship, plus "harassment" of a red-shirt historian and lese majeste charges against 18 red-shirt leaders had all taken place at a "suspicious" time - just before the election.
"I think they're all related to the current [political] situation," said Somyos, who was detained for a month without charge last year under the emergency decree.