Amphon Tangnoppaku sentenced for insulting the Thai royalty

November 23rd, 2011 - 8:57 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

Bangkok, Nov 23 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Insulting the Thai royalty is not such a good idea. A man accused of sending text messages considered offensive to the Thai Queen has been handed 20 years jail sentence. The 61-year-old was found guilty on four counts under lese majeste and computer crime laws and was given five years for each count. The sentences will run concurrently, meaning the man will be out of jail in five years.

Under the Thai laws, lese majeste is the laws against insulting the royal family in the country. Thailand has one of the strictest laws regarding how the royal family should be treated. Under the laws, repeating an insult is also considered offensive and a person can be jailed for that.

During the trial, the court was told that Amphon Tangnoppaku sent the offensive text messages in May 2010 but he denied the allegations saying he was not even familiar with the use of text messaging at that time.

Human right groups have risen up against the law which opponents say is meant to harass political opponents.

A spokesperson of Amnesty International told the Associated Press that, “Thailand has every right to have a (lese majeste) law, but its current form and usage place the country in contravention of its international legal obligations. Repression remains the order of the day in Thailand on freedom of expression, and Amphon is a political prisoner.”

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