Home FOREIGN For Insulting King, Man Bags 30 Year Jail In Thai, Bangkok

For Insulting King, Man Bags 30 Year Jail In Thai, Bangkok

Thai King in Bangkok                                                                        King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Today, a Bangkok’s Military Court jailed Pongsak Sriboonpeng, 48, for 30 years having been found guilty of posting messages and pictures defaming a Thai King in six posts on the social networking website, Facebook.

He was sentenced to 10 years on each count with the 60-year jail term halved after he pleaded guilty, his lawyer, Sasinan Thamnithinan said.

The King, Bhumibol Adulyadej, 87, is protected by one of the world’s strictest royal defamation rules under which anyone convicted of insulting the king, queen, heir or regent could bag up to 15 years in prison on each count.

And because Pongsak was arrested while Thailand was still under martial law there was no right to appeal the sentence passed by the military court.

Lese majeste convictions have surged since Thailand’s generals seized power from an elected government in May 2014.

According to Law, a local rights group that monitors such cases, there were just two ongoing prosecutions for royal defamation before the coup. Now that number is at least 56.

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Critics of the law say it has been used as a weapon against political enemies of the royalist elite and their military allies and now targets those opposed to the coup. [myad]

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