Woman Insulting the Thailand Monarchy Sentenced to 43-years Jail Term
A 60-year-old woman insulting the monarchy of Thailand has been sentenced to 43 years and six months in jail.
Thai court has sentenced a former civil servant to 43 years and six months in prison for violating a law that prohibits insulting or violating the country’s monarchy. Her lawyer said it’s the country’s harshest sentence ever.
Bangkok Criminal Court found the woman guilty of 29 counts of violating the country’s lese-majeste law by posting audio clips on Facebook and YouTube that included comments deemed critical of the Thai monarchy, according to the group. Thai Lawyers for Human Rights.
Based on the report of Reuter, the woman, identified only by the name Anchan, was first sentenced to 87-years in prison but was divided because she confessed to her sins. The rights groups immediately condemned the verdict, along with ongoing protests and criticism against the monarchy.
“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.
According to United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres, he believes “it is important for people to be able to express themselves freely.” In Thailand, violating the lese-majeste law – better known as Article 112 – carries a penalty of three to 15 imprisonment for each violation.
After King Maha Vajralongkorn succeeded his father in 2016, he informed the government that he did not want to use the lese majeste law during his tenure.
But protests over the past year and criticism of the monarchy have intensified, with Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha warning that he has reached the point where the aforementioned law needs to be used.
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