On 22 May 2014, the military overthrew an elected government in Thailand and entered in a post-coup era again. This was the 12th sucessful military coup since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932. Some people challenged the military and protested for some days in Bangkok against the coup, but were easily dispersed by the soldiers. The military junta led by Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha declared martial law and curfew nationwide, banned political gatherings and detained politicians and anti-coup activists. Prayut claimed that they were trying to return peace and happiness to people and promised to celebrate elections in 2015, date that has been delayed since then.
After more than two and half years of military rule, dozens of dissidents have been speaking out and breaking the general silence despite the strict censorship in Thailand. In order to tighten the control of the public, the military junta further strengthened the use of lese-majeste law, known as Article 112, to arrest citizens. Acording to the Thai lese-majeste law, “whoever defames, insults or threatens the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent shall be punished with imprisonment of three to fifteen years.» There is no legal definition of such act, so the authorities have plenty of room for interpretation. Critics point out that the law has become a potential weapon against those who disagree with the junta.
In this series we have interviewed and photographed people who have been detained, harassed or prosecuted by the miltary junta because of their political opinions or activities. There are students, activists, a journalist, a politician, a red shirt leader, an academic, an artist and a cleaner. They are from different backgrounds, professions and cities, but all tell the same story of a desperate effort for justice, and a hopeless dream for a better future.