Japanese man jailed for attacking Thai dissident

mizzima.com -- Jun 09
A Japanese man was jailed for 20 months on Wednesday for attacking a Thai academic in Japan where he lives in self-exile following his vocal criticism of the military and monarchy.

The verdict was confirmed to AFP by the district court in Kyoto, where former diplomat Pavin Chachavalpongpun has lived for the past decade.

Tatsuhiko Sato, 43, had last month admitted to breaking into Pavin's home in 2019 and attacking the dissident and another person with tear gas, according to Japan's public broadcaster NHK and other local media.

Pavin, an associate professor at Kyoto University, said he suspected the attack had been masterminded from Thailand.

'I truly believe that the Thai establishment is behind this because I have no enemies in Japan and have never participated in any political activity on Japanese soil,' the 51-year-old told AFP.

'I am satisfied with the court's verdict... However, the culprits behind this attack will still have to be pursued.'

Pavin has published books and other commentaries about the military and monarchy in Thailand, where criticism of the king is considered taboo.

He is also an administrator of a Facebook group with more than two million members who discuss the royal family's role in the country, as well as a pro-democracy movement's proposals for reforms. ...continue reading


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