Dead king 112

18 03 2023

In yet another conviction under Article 112, “Jai,” (a pseudonym), a 23-year-old university student, has been sentenced to three years in prison. She was also convicted of computer crimes.

Prachatai reports that the criminal court had to contort itself to make the lese majeste “crime” fit the case. The Criminal Court ruled that Article 112 “does not explicitly state that it covers only the current king, [but that] defaming King Bhumibol is still an offence under the law as it affects King Vajiralongkorn.”

Jai was charged in February 2021 “for tweeting a picture of the late King Bhumibol.” That tweet included the message: “You don’t have to remember who I am. Just remember what I did,” and included a hashtag about the dead king.

The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society lodged a complaint with police and the “public prosecutor ruled that her tweet meant that King Bhumibol was a murderer, and that monarchs are a waste or should not exist in Thai society.” That’s quite an interpretation, accepted by the complicit court, which “ruled that the tweet violates King Bhumibol, since it can be taken to mean that he was a murderer.”

Outside the court, Jai stated “that even prosecution witnesses who testified in her case didn’t agree on who is covered by the royal defamation law, and that it needs to be made clear who can use it. She also asked why this law cannot be criticized.”

The three year sentence was reduced because “the Court ruled that, since Jai was only 19 years old in 2020 when the tweet was made, it reduced her sentence to 2 years.”

Jai was “granted bail to appeal her case using a security of 100,000 baht, in addition to the 10,000 baht placed when she was indicted, covered by the Will of the People bail fund.”



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