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Thai Activist Receives Additional Prison Sentence for Royal Insult

Arnon Nampa is one of over 150 activists charged.
April 30, 2024
Thai Activist Prison Sentence

A Thai court sentenced prominent pro-democracy activist Arnon Nampa to two more years in prison on Monday. The charges stem from his participation in a 2021 rally where he called for reforms to Thailand’s strict royal defamation laws. This latest conviction underscores the government’s ongoing crackdown on dissent.

Human rights lawyer Arnon Nampa already faces a substantial prison sentence. He is currently serving four years for a previous royal insult conviction and received an additional four-year sentence in January 2023 related to Facebook posts. This latest two-year sentence extends his total expected prison time to over ten years.

Critics of Thailand’s lèse-majesté laws, which carry heavy penalties for perceived insults against the monarchy, argue that the government uses the legislation to stifle dissent. Scores of individuals, particularly those involved in the 2020 youth-led pro-democracy protests, have faced prosecution under these laws.

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The Criminal Court in Bangkok convicted Arnon on four charges: violation of lèse-majesté, defying an emergency decree, using a loudspeaker without permission, and an additional fine of 150 baht ($4) for the loudspeaker use.

Arnon Nampa is one of over 150 activists charged with lèse-majesté in recent years. His repeated convictions highlight concerns over the erosion of free speech and the suppression of calls for reform in Thailand.

Ditible Staff

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