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Police arrest Thai man accused of posting pictures and messages on Facebook that insulted king

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BANGKOK — Thai police said on Wednesday they have arrested a man who allegedly posted messages and photos on Facebook that insulted the king, adding to the skyrocketing number of lese majeste cases in the Southeast Asian country.

Thailand's lese majeste law is the world's harshest, mandating jail terms of three to 15 years for anyone who defames, insults or threatens the monarchy. The charges have often been used to harass political enemies.

Pongsak Sribunpheng, 47, broke the lese majeste law and a related computer crime law by posting the insulting Facebook content in 2012, said national police spokesman Lt. Gen. Prawut Thawornsiri. He said the postings could "incite chaos and hatred in the society."

He said that Pongsak, who lived in the western province of Kanchanaburi, confessed to the crimes and said he took part in the Red Shirt political movement. The Red Shirts were allied with the former Thai government, which was ousted by a military coup last year.

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