Man Insults Monarch In Facebook, Bags 30yrs In Jail | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Man Insults Monarch In Facebook, Bags 30yrs In Jail

Posted: Aug 7, 2015 at 1:04 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

A man was jailed for 30 years on Friday, July 31, 2015 for “insulting” a Thai King on Facebook.

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.

On Friday Bangkok’s Military Court found Pongsak Sriboonpeng, 48, guilty of posting messages and pictures defaming the monarchy in six posts on the social networking website.

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

“It’s broken the record,” she said about the severe jail term, adding that 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.

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.

Source: AFP