Thai appeals court docket reverses acquittal in lese majeste case over offensive Facebook remark

The Thai Appeals Court overturned a previous ruling yesterday, convicting an individual on expenses of lese majeste relating to comments deemed offensive towards the monarchy. The defendant, identified solely as Wutthipat, was found responsible by the Appeals Court of violating Section 112 of the Criminal Code, based on the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights.
The judges determined that Wutthipat’s touch upon the Royalists Marketplace Facebook page was offensive to a former king and the current monarch. Initially, the court docket sentenced him to five years in prison, however because of offering a press release helpful to the proceedings, the sentence was decreased to 3 years and four months. Wutthipat was subsequently released on bail whereas awaiting an enchantment to the Supreme Court.
On June 2, 2020, Wutthipat posted a comment online in regards to the demise of King Ananda Mahidol, or King Rama VIII, which took place in 1946. Siwaphan Manitkul, a private citizen, filed a lese majeste police complaint against Wutthipat on July 19, 2021, accusing him of violating Section 112 and the Computer Crime Act.
During Plain held on March 1-2 of the earlier yr, Wutthipat admitted to posting the comment, making reference to King Rama IX, the younger brother of King Rama VIII. However, he argued that lese majeste doesn’t embody previous kings. The Samut Prakan Provincial Court had initially dismissed the case, asserting that although the defendant’s remark referenced King Rama IX with offensive remarks, Section 112 solely protects the current king, queen, heir to the throne, and regent.
Opponents of the lese majeste regulation argue that it serves as a strong software to stifle dissenting voices in Thailand, as the federal government can use it to impose extreme penalties on critics. The legislation has faced backlash from human rights teams and worldwide organisations, which assert that it has a unfavorable impression on freedom of expression in Thai society.
Despite these criticisms and calls for amendments, the Thai government has consistently defended the lese majeste regulation, sustaining that it’s needed for the safety of the monarchy. The recent ruling in opposition to Wutthipat marks yet another instance by which the regulation has been utilized to penalize these making probably offensive remarks about past and current members of the Thai monarchy..

Leave a Comment