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  • Writer's pictureManushya Foundation

19-year-old student sentenced to 3 years for criticizing late King's sufficiency economy principles.

Lèse-majesté in Thailand is being applied to former King! 19-year-old student sentenced to 3 years for criticizing late King's sufficiency economy principles.

#LeseMajeste 🏛 On November 22, the Court of Appeal Region 2 in Rayong sentenced Jaras, a 19-year-old university student, to 3 years in prison for violating section 112 of the Criminal Code for criticizing the former King's Sufficiency Economy principles on Facebook. The Court reduced his sentence to 1 year and 4 months for cooperating before giving him a suspended sentence citing that he was young and a first-time offender.

📌 The ruling effectively broadens the scope of application of Section 112 to also encompass any defamatory statements made about previous Kings and not just the current King, Queen, and Heir-apparent or Regent as the law intends. This sets a dangerous precedent for future Section 112 cases.

💬 Through its ruling, the Court of Appeal reverses the decision of the Court of First Instance, who dismissed the Section 112 charge against Jaras on the reasoning that Section 112 must be strictly interpreted to only protect current royals.

📜 The Court of First Instance, however, still found Jaras guilty of violating Section 14(1) of the Computer Crime Act prohibiting the importing of false computer data that could cause damage to the public. His sentence of 1 year and 4 months was suspended while he remains on probation.

#WeAreManushyan ♾ Equal Human Beings

#StopDigitalDictatorship ✊ Manushya Foundation condemns the abusive use of the Lèse-majesté law to intimidate, harass, and persecute critics into silence! We stand in solidarity with all pro-democracy activists, protesters, and human rights defenders in demanding TRUE democracy and reform of the monarchy. We urge that the Thai government respect its international human rights obligations on digital rights and online freedom, laid down in article 19 of the UDHR and ICCPR, and comply with the UPR recommendations on freedom of expression, including the revision of section 112, which it received during the 3rd UPR cycle.

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