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Senators, MPs, voice support for Thailand’s lèse majesté law




Politicians have come out in support of the Kingdom’s lèse majesté law, amid calls from pro-democracy activists to have it abolished. The law, officially Section 112 of the Criminal Code, prohibits criticising, defaming, or insulting the Thai Monarchy. At least 12 political activists have recently been charged with lèse majesté offences for their role in various anti-government rallies.

On Thursday, Somyot Prueksakasemsuk from the 24 June Democracy Restoration group, submitted a petition to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, calling on it to intervene to prevent the law being used against pro-democracy activists. Protesters calling for an end to the law gathered outside the UN building on Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue and at the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanee Sangrat says that, while the OHCHR will accept petitions from all groups, it already monitors human rights matters in Thailand, including the use of Section 112.

Meanwhile, Senator Chadej Insawang says committee members for the protection of the royal institution will meet on December 18, in response to the calls for Section 112 to be abolished. He points out that all countries have similar legal provisions and claims protesters are trying to pile pressure on the Thai government.

Jurin Laksanawisit, the leader of the Democrat Party, says he and his party members oppose the idea of changing the country to a republic or a communist state. He says the party will only support a constitutional monarchy and that every country has laws in place to protect their leaders.

Meanwhile, Pareena Kraikupt, from the ruling Palang Pracharath Party, also submitted a letter to the UN, in an attempt to explain Thailand’s lèse majesté law. She was backed by a number of supporters in yellow, who held signs reading slogans that included, “”Stop threatening the life of the King” and, “Save 112.”

The Bangkok Post reports that after Thai actor O Anuchit backed the use of the lèse majesté law, the hashtag #banoanuchit began trending on social media yesterday, appearing on Twitter at least 30,000 times.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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