Thursday, August 05, 2021

in-focus

Deputy PM dismisses criticism that lese majeste charges damage monarchy


Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam on Thursday defended the use of the draconian lese majeste law (Section 112) against pro-democracy protesters, after criticism of the move by veteran social critic Sulak Sivaraksa.

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Wissanu said the royal insult law had been used for years and would be applied according to current circumstances, adding that speeches of protesters had violated Section 112.

Section 112 carries punishment of up to 15 years in prison but had not been imposed for two years. Police this week summoned seven protest leaders to hear lese majeste charges.

Sulak, who joined anti-government protesters in front of Siam Commercial Bank (SCB)’s headquarters on Wednesday, said the law actually harmed the monarchy.

The social critic demanded that the government stop using it to prevent peaceful debate on the role of the monarchy.

The pro-democracy protesters are demanding reforms to make the monarchy more accountable and transparent.

Published : November 26, 2020

By : The Nation