Home » Man receives record sentence of 50 years in prison for lèse-majesté in Thailand

Man receives record sentence of 50 years in prison for lèse-majesté in Thailand

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De Thaise koning Maha Vajiralongkorn — © EPA-EFE

A Thai man has been sentenced to fifty years in prison on appeal for insults to the royal family. It is the harshest sentence ever handed down for lese majeste in the Southeast Asian country. This is reported by a collective of human rights lawyers.

A court in northern Chiang Rai had first sentenced the man to 28 years in prison, but the appeal judges added another 22 years. Mongkol Thirakot, 30, was found guilty by the court of eleven additional offenses during the appeal process, the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights explained. The man appeals.

Thirakot runs a clothing store and was prosecuted for 27 Facebook posts that allegedly defamed the king and his family.

In January 2021, a woman was sentenced to 43 years in prison for audio messages on social media that were considered hostile to the monarchy. That was the harshest punishment at the time. Thailand’s lese majeste law is one of the strictest in the world. The pro-democracy movement wants a reform or abolition of the law. Although that movement won a victory in last year’s elections, it remains condemned to the opposition.

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