Thai Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Jail for Writing 6 Mean Facebook Posts About the King

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Thai King 87th birthday celebrations
Photo: RUNGROJ YONGRIT

A 48-year-old man from Bangkok was sentenced to 30 years in jail after insulting 87-year-old Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej — in six Facebook posts. The man’s original sentence of 60 years was halved after he pleaded guilty. A 29-year-old mother of two was sentenced to 28 years in jail this week for seven Facebook posts making fun of the monarchy. The country is under martial law, so neither person can appeal their sentence, the harshest ever given under Thailand’s se majesté, or injured monarchy, law.

Cases like these are on the rise; earlier this week, a man with a history of mental illness was sentenced to five years in jail after ripping up a portrait of the king. The BBC reports that there are at least 56 similar crimes being prosecuted now, a number that has jumped since the 2014 coup. According to the Associated Press, the Bangkok Military Court chief judge said the man’s trial was closed to the public because "what he wrote was beyond rude. Even the prosecutor did not want to read them out loud."