Frenchman accused of lese majeste in Thailand

Photo via SiamRath

A pro-royalist group in Bangkok, Thailand, filed a lese majeste case against a well-known French critic of the Thai monarchy yesterday, reports SiamRath.

The Centre for People Protecting the Thai Monarchy alleges that Yan Marchal posted a 41-second-long clip on social media of him and some Thais singing a song containing lyrics that the group says are defamatory of the Thai royal family, violating Section 112 of Thailand’s Criminal Code.

The head of the group filed a complaint against 50 year old Marchal at the Central Investigation Police Reporting Centre on Phahoholyothin Road in Chatuchak district at 11am yesterday.

“My first 112 case (that I’m aware of). I made it! Thanks Anon,” Marchal announced to his 32,000 followers on Facebook.

Even though Marchal is not in Thailand, he’d managed to find some Thai people to make the video with who, “do not love the nation,” reports SiamRath.

SiamRath warned the public against even sharing Marchal’s content on social media, stating that The Centre for People Protecting the Thai Monarchy will report him and the Technology Crime Suppression Division will investigate.

Yan Marchal used to live in Thailand for 18 years, working as a computer game programmer. However, his online anti-government and anti-monarchy espousals landed him in hot water and saw him essentially deported from the kingdom more than two years ago.

In November 2021, Marchal said authorities were expelling him from Bangkok to Paris and that he would not be allowed to reenter the country. He said…

“I have been advised to fly out rather than to expose myself to judicial risk while appealing.”

Yan said that immigration police called him a “threat to national security.”

In 2020, Marchal was almost booted out of Thailand for several posts he made on Facebook regarding the monarchy and the antigovernmental protests going on at the time.

During a visit to immigration in November 2020, Marchal was told that his visa had been revoked and he was overstaying in the kingdom. In 2019, he was visited by police after posting a video poking fun at the National Council for Peace and Order. Marchal made a public apology and the video was removed.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.