[QODLink]
Listening Post

Thailand's lese majeste law

Should the 100-year-old legislation, designed to prevent insults to the Thai royal family, be changed?
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2012 14:34

On December 5, 2012, thousands of Thais gathered in Bangkok to mark the 85th birthday of their monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The monarchy has great importance in Thai life, so much so that a 100-year-old law exists that makes it a criminal offense to say or write anything deemed offensive about the members of the royal family.

It is known as Article 112 - the lese majeste law. And it is not just a symbolic relic - it has become a political weapon to be used with increasing frequency. From a handful of cases six years ago, there has been a steep rise as 2010 saw almost 500 cases.

The Listening Post’s Meenakshi Ravi reports on Thailand’s lese majeste problem.

"This is a law which is an exact opposite to freedom of speech. It cannot be reformed, you know. If what you say is true, you can still go to prison under lese majeste. The prison terms are outrageous. People at the moment are in prison for 20 years for making statements. Its actually a law which protects dictatorship. You have to abolish lese majeste, and whether or not Thailand has a monarchy or not is another matter."

Giles Ungpakhorn, the author or A Coup for the Rich

224

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.
join our mailing list