Thursday, January 24, 2013

The first rule of lese majeste is that you don't talk about lese majeste...

Somyot Prueksakasemsuk is a Thai magazine editor. In 2011 he was arrested for publishing two articles which (according to monarchists) disparaged Thailand's king. And for that, he's just been sentenced to 11 years in jail:

He was sentenced to five years on each of the two charges, and the court cancelled the suspension of a previous one-year sentence - for a total of 11 years in prison, a cumulative sentence.

The severity of the sentence caught both Somyot and his family - his wife and son - totally by suprise, as it was harsher than previous rulings in other lese majeste cases, which usually were based on the minimum sentence of three years.

The real reason for the severe sentence? Somyot had been campaigning for Thailand's lese majeste law to be repealed. He was arrested just five days after launching a petition campaign to force a Parliamentary review of the law. And now, he's become its latest victim.