Absorn (pseudonym)


On 26 September 2022, Absorn (pseudonym), 23, employed at a private company, was sentenced by the Criminal Court to 4 years in prison on lese majeste, computer crimes.

The court decided that as she had never been previously been sentenced to prison, her sentence was reduced to 2 years and suspended for 3 years. She will be on probation for 2 years.

Absorn, a trans woman, was charged on a complaint made by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society after she shared a Facebook post by academic Pavin Chachavalpongpun. The exiled Pavin argued that the campaign was “outdated” and:

claimed that the … royal family launched a public relations campaign in order to compete with pro-democracy protesters, such as by having Princess Sirivannavari, King Vajiralongkorn’s youngest daughter, join a dance event, or reporting that Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, the [then] King’s royal consort, supported a Royal Project by buying products from the Sai Jai Thai Foundation.

Absorn shared the post and without adding anything to it.

She was charged on 19 November 2020. The public prosecutor prosecuted her “on the grounds that the post contain false information and may mislead the public into thinking that the King is an enemy of the people and tries to interfere with politics. The prosecutor also said that the post was rude and intended to cause hatred against the King.”

Of course, facts about the royal family are disputed, but never by the royalist courts. At the time, it was clear that the royal family mobilized to push back against reform calls.

Absorn said the “post was shared onto her old Facebook account which she no longer used. She also immediately took the post down after a coworker warned her it might be illegal.”

However, the police alleged that the re-posting constituted an offense under Article 112 and was a breach of the Computer Crime Act. It was claimed that uploading information by Pavin criticizing the king was both false and a threat to the kingdom’s security.

Media commentaries on Absorn’s case:

Prachatai, 26 September 2022: “Trans woman sentenced to prison for royal defamation

Prachatai, 23 April 2021: “2 people charged with royal defamation over Facebook shares and posts

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, 20 April 2021: “ตร.ปอท. แจ้ง “ม.112-พ.ร.บ.คอมฯ” สาวข้ามเพศวัย 22 ปี เหตุแชร์โพสต์เฟซบุ๊ก “ปวิน”

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