Leading Thai activist jailed for two more years over royal insult

Leading Thai activist jailed for two more years over royal insult
Leading Thai activist jailed for two more years over royal insult

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Arnon Nampa, a prominent activist and former human rights lawyer, flashes a three finger salute as he arrives ahead of a Thai criminal court's verdict in a case of allegedly having insulted the monarchy, at the criminal court in Bangkok, Thailand, September 26, 2023. — Reuters file pic

BANGKOK, April 29 — A court in Thailand today sentenced one of the kingdom’s leading democracy activists to a further two years imprisonment on royal insult charges.

It is the latest charge levelled against prominent human rights lawyer Arnon Nampa, who now faces more than 10 years in prison.

He is currently in jail after he was handed down a four-year sentence in January over three messages posted on in 2021, adding to the four years he was already serving for a prior lese-majeste conviction.

Critics say the government has used the strict legislation to silence dissent, prosecuting scores under a tough law that protects King Maha Vajiralongkorn and his family.

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The Criminal Court in Bangkok sentenced Arnon for two years and 20 days over his calls at a Harry Potter-themed rally in 2021 to amend Thailand’s royal defamation laws.

He was found guilty of four charges including violation of lese-majeste, defying the emergency decree, and using a loudspeaker without permission, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights said.

Thailand’s youth-led pro-democracy protests in 2020 saw tens of thousands of people take to the streets to make unprecedented calls to reform the monarchy.

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Sentencing him, the criminal court also fined him 150 baht (US$4) for use of the loudspeaker.

Arnon is among more than 150 activists who have been charged in recent years under lese majeste laws, often referred to as “112” after the relevant section of the criminal code. — Reuters

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