Activist gets 2 years in jail for protesting ‘in pink’
A 23-year-old pro-democracy activist was sentenced to two years in jail for allegedly mocking a member of the royal family in a “fashion show” during a 2020 rally.
The court on Monday found Jatuporn “New” Sae-Ung guilty of violating both Section 112 of the Criminal Code or lese majeste act and the law against public demonstration.
She was one of two protesters arrested for allegedly poking fun at a royal during a rally held by the Rassadorn Group in Silom on October 29, 2020.
As part of the demonstration, the group held a “fashion show”, which saw Jatuporn clad in a pink traditional dress, walking down the catwalk. Apart from other protesters yelling “long live, long live”, the fashion show ended without a speech.
It is believed the so-called fashion show was held to protest against the 13-million baht budget given to the Commerce Ministry to showcase the Sirivannavari brand overseas. The brand is owned by Princess Sirivannavari.
Jatuporn’s lawyer Weeranan Uadsri confirmed that the court had found her guilty of two charges and had initially sentenced her to three years for lese majeste and a 1,500 baht fine for violating the public demonstration act.
However, the court commuted the penalties by a third, to two years in jail and a fine of 1,000 baht on grounds that her testimony in court was quite useful.
Weeranan said the defence is seeking bail to appeal against the ruling. Jatuporn showed up in court dressed in pink. Accompanying her were some friends.
Before entering the court, she insisted she had joined the “fashion show” innocently.
“I was not imitating anyone. I didn’t ask anyone to bow to me or shout ‘long live’,” she said, adding she was being prosecuted over a misunderstanding.
Jatuporn and 16-year-old Noppasin Treelayapewat were indicted for lese majeste on July 15, 2021. As of press time, there were no reports on Noppasin.
According to the thaipoliticalprisoners website, a complaint had been filed against the pair by a royalist, who claimed Jatuporn “ridiculed the Queen by wearing a pink Thai traditional dress to the fashion show and walking along a red carpet under an umbrella held by another protester”.