A Thai court on Thursday sentenced a man to 50 years in prison for insulting the royal family, the highest sentence in history for violating strict lese majeste laws, a group of human rights lawyers said.
On appeal, the judges The sentence was extended for 22 years From a court in Chiang Rai (north) that The man was sentenced last year to 28 years in prisonThe group Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (ATDH) noted.
Mongkol Therakot, 30, was found guilty of 11 offenses on appealAs they said in a statement.
It was Therakot, the owner of an online clothing store He was tried for 27 Facebook posts deemed defamatory of the king and his family.
“This is the longest sentence I am aware of for lèse majesté,” ATDH wrote on the X social network.
The previous record, 43 years old, dates back to January 2021, and was against a woman over anti-monarchy audio messages on social media.
Thailand's lese majeste law, considered one of the toughest of its kind in the world, punishes any insult to King Maha Vajiralongkorn and his family with up to 15 years in prison.
Pro-democracy demonstrations in Thailand in 2020 and 2021, in which tens of thousands of people participated, sought to repeal this law among other reforms.
More than 250 activists have been charged under the lese majeste law since the beginning of that protest movement.according to ATDH.
Lawyer and activist Arnon Namba He was sentenced on Wednesday to another four years in prison for violating Thailand's lese majeste law and calling for reform of the monarchy in the Asian country, where matters related to the royal house remain largely taboo.
Arnon, 39, will have to pass Another four years in prison, for a total of eightConsidering that this ruling is in addition to another ruling issued last September when he was found Guilty of insulting the royal family during a 2020 rallyAccording to information from the Bangkok Post newspaper.
This type of sanctions was condemned by international organizations defending human rights, as these sanctions were considered punishments “extremism”.
Wednesday's ruling is the second of a total 14 cases were opened against Arnonwho became one of the most important activists opposing this law and led protests in Bangkok to demand reform of the monarchy.
The court's ruling represents a severe setback for groups seeking to amend the legislation, an issue that was among the main election promises of the progressive Avanza party, which won elections last May but was unable to form a government.
(With information from AFP and EP)