Professor Duncan McCargo discusses the arrest of Thai law professor Worachet Pakeerat
When the trial of Worachet Pakeerat, a prominent Thai law professor, opens in late November in Bangkok, he will become one of the first Thai civilians to be court-martialed in decades.
Professor McCargo talks about the recent arrest of a Thai law professor, for failing to report to the military junta when summoned.
Professor McCargo's article "Why Sword fears pen in Thailand" details the upcoming trial of Worachet Pakeerat, who has become one of the first Thai civilians to be court-martialed in decades. He had failed to report to the military junta that seized power in May this year, although he was abroad at the time. Worachet is currently on bail.
McCargo highlights that the only other person who has been given similar treatment for failing to answer a military summons is former Education Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng- "one of the most widely respected members of ex-Premier Yingluck Shinawatra's ill-fated cabinet." Worachet "is widely regarded even by those who disagree with him on many issues - as among the brightest academics in the country." It is noted that ironically, he "was promoted to full professor at Thammasat University, one of Thailand's leading educational institutions, immediately after being charged."
McCargo continues on the discuss how Worachet has been charged "above all because of his ideas". That he has become one of Thailand's first academic celebrities, "capable of packing a huge hall with cheering admirers and supporters."