Insulting Monarchy

Insulting monarchy can land someone in jail for a long time. A former civil servant learned her lesson a hard way. Thailand has very strict laws against insulting the monarchy. The Bangkok Court found a 29-year-old woman violating the lese-majeste law. She was found guilty of posting audio clips to Facebook and YouTube with comments deemed defaming for the monarchy.

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This comes amidst the ongoing nationwide protest and movement against the monarchy in Thailand. The rights groups obviously condemned it. A senior researcher of Human Rights Group, Sunai Phasuk, told Al Jazeera,

“Today’s court verdict is shocking and sends a spine-chilling signal that not only criticisms of the monarchy won’t be tolerated, but they will also be severely punished.”

The Lese-Majeste law also known as Article 112 or Criminal Code Section 112. It is known for using against the royals. It carries three to five years of a sentence per count. One can found guilty for simply liking a post on Facebook as well. Also, anyone can file a complaint with Article 112, and the person can get into legal proceedings for years.

This law has been very swiftly used by the authorities as a weapon during political unrest.

People have started protesting and demanding the reforms of the monarchy and the government. The pro-democracy people have thronged into the streets of Thailand for months now. The political leaders are now using this law as a tool to curb the protest.

Even though it has been frequently used in the last 15 years, but such an extremity in punishment is quite rare in Thailand.