Woman gets 87-Year prison sentence reduced to 43-years for insulting Thai king
A court in Thailand recently sentenced a woman who was a formal civil servant to prison for 43 years. Her crime was insulting or defaming the monarchy. According to the report from CBS News, It is a violation in Thailand to insult the monarchy, punishable by imprisonment
The report revealed the Bangkok Criminal Court found the woman guilty on 29 counts of violating the country’s lese majeste law for simply posting audio clips to Facebook and YouTube with comments deemed critical of the monarchy. Initially the sentence for the woman was 87 years but was reduced by half because she pleaded guilty to the offenses.
“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,” said Sunai Phasuk, a senior researcher for the group Human Rights Watch. The report reveals that the Violation of Thailand’s lese majeste law – which is also known widely as Article 112 –
is reportedly punishable by three to 15 years’ imprisonment per count and can be used to punish people for simply liking a post on Facebook but also because anyone – not just royals or authorities – can lodge a complaint that can tie up the person accused in legal proceedings for years. Sunai said Tuesday’s sentence was likely meant to send a message.
“It can be seen that Thai authorities are using lese majeste prosecution as their last resort measure in response to the youth-led democracy uprising that seeks to curb the king’s powers and keep him within the bound of constitutional rule. Thailand’s political tensions will now go from bad to worse,” he said.