Kanlaya (pseudonym)

112On 22 June 2021, it was reported that Kanlaya – a pseudonym – a 27-year-old employee of a private company in Nonthaburi, reported to Sungai Kolok District Police Station in Narathiwat province, to acknowledge lese majeste and computer crimes charges. On 2 August 2022, she was convicted and sentenced to 6 years in prison.

The charges resulted from complaints made by ultra-royalist vigilante Pasit Chanhuaton over four of Kanlaya’s social media posts said to be about the monarchy.

The complaint against Kanlaya concerned a number of Facebook posts and comments about the king and the 2020-21 pro-democracy and monarchy reform protests. iLaw reported that one of the comments attributed by the complainant to Kanlaya was made on a Facebook post about the film The Treacherous, a Korean period drama film about a tyrannical king. At the time, another Facebook user accused Kanlaya of insulting King Vajiralongkorn, so her FB friends defended her. Kanlaya speculated that the user was not happy with what happened and started collecting information from her Facebook page before filing charges against her.

Another post was a picture Kanlaya took during a protest at Wongwian Yai on 17 October 2020 of a message sprayed-painted onto the road. She was also charged for sharing posts made by exiled academic Somsak Jeamteerasakul and activist Tanawat Wongchai and adding comments to them.

Pasit’s complaint was that he had been using Facebook when he came across images and four messages referring to the monarchy. The messages included acriticism of the monarchy’s role in relation to the political protests. Pasit also claimed Kanlaya shared a post from another Facebook user which urged that Article 112 be revoked to permit free expression on the monarchy. An outraged Pasit claimed that these “messages maliciously referred to the King in an accusatorial manner.” 

Kanlaya has denied all charges and was bailed.

The Narathiwat Provincial Court delivered its guilty verdict on 2 August 2022. She was found guilty under Article 112 and computer crimes and sentenced to 6 years in prison.

The “evidence” against her “included made up screenshots without a URL or a date and time of the posts, so they could have been edited, while each post could be interpreted widely if read separately and mentioned no one by name.”

But the royalist court was unconvinced and went to work concocting its conviction:

… the Court ruled that she was guilty because she testified during the police inquiry process that her former partner used to be able to access her Facebook account, but she changed the password after they broke up in December 2020, so it is believable that she was the one using the account.

The Court also ruled that the messages combined with the movement for monarchy reform can be interpreted to be referring to King Vajiralongkorn, and that they are intended to cause hatred against the King, affecting national security.

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights says ultra-mad royalist Pasit has now filed 112 “complaints with the police in Sungai Kolok against at least 20 people, none of whom lives in Narathiwat.”

Kanlaya was granted bail in order to appeal.  She was bailed.

Media accounts of Kanlaya’s case:

Prachatai, 5 August 2022: “Woman gets 6 years for royal defamation

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, 2 July 2021: “Summons from Deep South: Woman from Nonthaburi charged for Article 112 lost 15,000 baht over travel & accommodation costs


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