Pro-monarchy academic says lèse majesté law needs to be more clear

Photo via Thai Lawyers for Human Rights

With Thailand’s draconian lèse majesté law in the spotlight as continuous youth-led protests call on an end to law which carries a lengthy prison sentence for insulting the Thai Monarchy, a well-known academic and supporter of the royal family says the law needs to be amended to make it more clear.

Under Section 112 of the Thailand’s Criminal Code, also known as the lèse majesté law those who defame, insult or threaten the royal family face a prison sentence of three to 15 years.

Over the past year, there have been an uptick of lèse majesté charges related to statement or actions around the youth-led pro-democracy movement where many students and young adults have been raising questions regarding the Monarchy that are considered taboo in Thai society. Recent protests have called on the government to abolish the law.

Academic Dr. Arnond Sakworawich, who is popular among royalists, says, according to Thai PBS World, that the laws in place are necessary for national security, and are needed to protect the royal family from defamation, but he says some changes need to be made to Section 112.

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“These disputable issues have to be clarified comprehensively, so people will not find loopholes in this law. So, in my opinion, Article 112 should be 3-pages long, detailing interpretation, intention and defining wrongdoing. Defamation and libel should also be separated from malicious threats. It has to be meticulous so that there will not be an issue when interpreting the law…Make it clear, comprehensive and without much need for interpretation.”

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Luke Albers

Luke Albers is a writer from the United States. He graduated from the University of Colorado with a bachelors degree in political science and a certificate in peace, conflict and security studies. He has lived and worked in Africa and India, and now calls Thailand home. Luke loves to use his writing to connect with new people and places.

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