🚨Karen Protester Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Royal Defamation, Sedition,and Computer Crimes
⚠️ Today, Chiangmai Provincial Court sentenced Pornchai Wimonsuppawong, member of the Karen ethnic group in the North, to 12 years in prison for 4 Facebook posts which were found to be in violation of royal defamation (Article 112), sedition (Article 116), and Computer Crime Act. For CCA, he was charged for importing information that presents a threat to national security.
📱 It was alleged that his posts, which were published from October through November 2020, had accused the King of not being neutral and engaging in political activities. One of them invited people to join a pro-democracy demonstration.
🚔 In March 2021, Pornchai was arrested at his place in Nonthaburi by around 10 plainclothes police officers following an arrest warrant issued by the Chiangmai Court. He was consequently detained for 44 days before being granted bail.
⚖️ Because Pornchai was indicted on two different cases of royal defamation, one by the Chiangmai Court and another by the Yala Court, he had to travel frequently for court hearings, shouldering the financial burden and losing income from taking time off work.
🏠 Born in Mae Hong Son and raised in an ethnic community, Pornchai moved to Bangkok to seek better job opportunities over 20 years ago. Since the pro-democracy protests broke out in 2020, Pornchai has joined forces with the youth and has been vocal online on the issues of ethnic minorities in Thailand.
Sources: TLHR, iLaw
✊ Manushya Foundation vehemently condemns the abuse of lèse-majesté law, sedition provisions, and Computer Crime Act. We call on the Thai government to respect its international human rights obligations on the right to freedom of expression and information, laid down in Article 19 of the UDHR and ICCPR. It must also comply with the UPR recommendations on freedom of expression, including the revision of section 112, which it received during its 3rd UPR cycle.
TLHR, Journey of his fight in the royal defamation case: Karen man "Pornchai" has to travel as far as to Yala for court proceedings, (12 December 2022), available at: https://tlhr2014.com/archives/51445
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