Reduced sentence on lese majeste

10 10 2015

Many readers will have seen the Prachatai report on the Supreme Court’s decision to reduce Akechai Hongkangwarn’s jail term for lese majeste.

In a terrible period for the use of the draconian law for political repression, this is a tiny bit of news that isn’t entirely horrid.

We won’t recount the entire story of this case as it is available elsewhere.What’s new is that on 9 October 2015, the Supreme Court had ruled that Akechai’s jail term should be reduced.

The Court re-affirmed the guilty verdict but disagreed with the Appeal Court on the sentence, saying it was too severe. The Supreme Court sentenced him to four years reduced by a third.

This means he will be released in mid-November 2015.

We reject the court’s decisions to jail Akechai for distributing the widely watched Australian Broadcasting Corporation documentary on the monarchy, which included scenes leaked from within the palace, and Wikileaks documents that were also widely read.