the republic logo

2 indicted for defaming Thailand's monarchy in a stage performance at a university

bug
Share/Save/Bookmark

BANGKOK — Prosecutors in Thailand have charged two people with defaming the country's monarchy in a stage performance at a university last year, moving on a complaint filed by a group of royalists, a lawyer said Tuesday.

The two — a 23-year-old male university student and a 26-year-old woman — were charged Friday with lese majeste, which mandates a prison term of up to 15 years for anyone insulting Thailand's monarchy, said Pawinee Chumsri, a human rights lawyer who is representing the pair.

The two were involved in a play at Bangkok's Thammasat University last October called "The Wolf Bride," which told the story of a fictional monarch. They have been in jail since their arrest in August, with their bail requests repeatedly turned down by a Bangkok court, Pawinee said.

"We are seeking to bail them for the fifth time already. The court had said in the past that the case has a severe penalty and the alleged crime was done in front of a large number of people," Pawinee said.

In Thailand, anyone can file a lese majeste complaint with police, and the charge has frequently been used as a weapon to harass political enemies. In this case, a group calling itself the Royal Monarch Alert Protection Network filed the complaint.

The indictment comes during a period of heightened nationalism under a military-installed government that took power in a coup in May. The new regime has said that protecting the monarchy is a priority, and has allocated a large budget to the military and ministries for the task.

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

Story copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)

Category:

Follow The Republic:

All content copyright ©2014 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.