Today: May 26, 2024
Today: May 26, 2024

Thai activist gets two-year suspended prison sentence for 2021 remarks about monarchy

Share This
LA Post: Thai activist gets two-year suspended prison sentence for 2021 remarks about monarchy
January 31, 2024
AP

BANGKOK (AP) — A Thai court on Wednesday convicted a prominent political activist of defaming the country’s monarchy and sentenced her to a two-year suspended jail term under a controversial law that criminalizes any perceived criticism of the royal institution.

Patsaravalee Tanakitvibulpon, better known by her nickname “Mind,” had pleaded not guilty to an offense under Article 112 of the criminal code, relating to a speech she gave at a rally in the capital in March 2021.

A judge at the Bangkok South Criminal Court officially sentenced her to three years in prison for the crime known as lese majeste, but reduced it to a two-year suspended term due to her cooperation.

She was acquitted of a charge of violating an emergency decree on public gatherings because she was not an organizer of the event.

A small group of supporters handed flowers to the 28-year-old before she entered the court.

“I am confident that the content of my speech on that day was polite and humble. I spoke with good intentions, not defamation. It was necessary to talk about the monarchy and Thai politics because it had become an issue,” she told reporters.

Patsaravalee was one of a new wave of leaders who took a prominent role in the series of unprecedented protests that shook Thailand beginning in 2020, calling for reforms in the monarchy.

The institution is traditionally deeply revered and is protected from criticism by the lese majeste law, which imposes severe penalties on those found to violate it, including up to 15 years in jail per offense.

But agitation for a more liberal atmosphere surrounding discussion of the subject has grown since the death of King Bhumibol in 2016 and the accession of his son, King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

The conviction came on the same day that Thailand’s Constitutional Court is set to hand down its verdict in a case against the political party that won most seats in last year’s election over its campaign call to amend Article 112. The charge was that its platform was tantamount to calling for the overthrow of the system of constitutional monarchy.

If the Move Forward party loses the case it may be told to cease its push for reform. A loss may also leave it vulnerable to further action, including a move for its dissolution.

Popular

Bangladesh evacuates hundreds of thousands as a severe cyclone approaches from the Bay of Bengal

Bangladesh has evacuated nearly 800,000 people from vulnerable areas as the country and neighboring India await the arrival of a severe cyclone that has formed over the Bay of Bengal

Bangladesh evacuates hundreds of thousands as a severe cyclone approaches from the Bay of Bengal

Aid trucks begin entering Gaza under agreement with Egypt to bypass Rafah

Aid trucks have begun entering Gaza from southern Israel through a new agreement to bypass the Rafah crossing with Egypt after Israeli forces seized the Palestinian side of it earlier this month

Aid trucks begin entering Gaza under agreement with Egypt to bypass Rafah

US 30-year fixed-rate mortgage falls below 7%

The average rate on the popular U.S. 30-year mortgage rate fell below 7% this week for the first time in more than a month, which could help revive the housing market's waning

US 30-year fixed-rate mortgage falls below 7%

Norfolk Southern to pay $15 million civil penalty, cleanup costs over 2023 Ohio derailment

Norfolk Southern agreed to pay a $15 million civil penalty and $57.1 million in past government cleanup costs on Thursday, as well as

Norfolk Southern to pay $15 million civil penalty, cleanup costs over 2023 Ohio derailment

JPMorgan to pay $100 million over CFTC trade reporting violations

JPMorgan Chase & Co will pay $100 million and admit it broke U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission rules in connection with trade reporting lapses, the regulator said on Thursday.

JPMorgan to pay $100 million over CFTC trade reporting violations

Related

Lithuanians vote in presidential election overshadowed by Russia

Lithuanians vote in presidential election overshadowed by Russia

Groups fight California attorney general's document demands in plastics pollution probe

Groups fight California attorney general's document demands in plastics pollution probe

Taiwan bar on frontline with China blends history into cocktails

Taiwan bar on frontline with China blends history into cocktails

G7 agree further financing for Ukraine, to discuss details in coming weeks

G7 agree further financing for Ukraine, to discuss details in coming weeks
- Advertisement -
Advertisement: Limited Time Offer