“Twenty-six months and thirty months in prison… This means that my attackers will be able to get out in January. [à l’issue de deux ans de détention préventive]. ” Wednesday, November 24, Aum Neko is angry. The day before, around 10 p.m., the Paris Criminal Court did not follow the prosecutor’s requisitions, who demanded five years of detention for Jakub Hosek, 26, and Daniel Vokal, 28, the two Czech nationals who violently beaten this Thai political refugee, a transgender woman, on the evening of November 17, 2019, in a Parisian brasserie on thee arrondissement.
The young woman spends the evening with other Thais from France, some, like her, political refugees. Suddenly two men, hoods over their heads, come in and punch her and one of her friends, musician Nithiwat Wannasiri. The attackers flee, but they are pursued by Aum Neko’s companion, who calls the police. A few minutes later, they are stopped by a unit of the BAC (anti-crime brigade) while they were trying to steal a scooter.
The investigation will quickly show that the assault was premeditated. It will also show that besides the two fellows, of 100 kilos each and followers of MMA (mixed martial arts), a third Czech, Petr Donatek, would have organized the attack. This Japanese sword master is said to be part of a “heraldic brotherhood for the protection of the royal order”. The political track is emerging.
Repression without borders
Because Aum Neko is an activist known for her virulent positions against the Thai army and the current King of Thailand, Maha Vajiralongkorn (reign name Rama X), which earned her frequent threats on social networks. Shortly before his assault, a French documentary, Siamese Dreams, by Iv Charbonneau Ching (2020), which traces her first steps as an activist at the University of Bangkok, had been screened in Prague.
Accused of the crime of lese majesté for having claimed the right to criticize the monarchical institution, she is one of the people wanted by the military junta in the aftermath of the 2014 coup, but smuggled into Laos. She will obtain political asylum in France in 2015. After the coup, the head of the army, General Prayuth Chan-o-cha, promises to extradite all critics of the monarchy who have gone abroad. “We are watching them. Many agencies are involved, the ministry of information, the army, the ministry of defense. A lot ! “, he declared at a press conference.
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