Royalist accuses 14 year old girl of royal defamation in Thailand

Photo via Thai Rath

Thai police summoned a 14 year old girl to a police station for questioning after an ultra-royalist accused her of royal defamation, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights.

She is the youngest person ever to be charged with royal defamation, also called lèse-majesté.

Arnon Klinkaew, a core member of an ultra-royalist group, accused the child of violating Section 112 of the Criminal Code over her alleged involvement in a protest at the Giant Swing in Bangkok on October 13, 2022.

The legal summons from Samran Rat Police Station in Bangkok was dated January 23, 2023.

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In the past two years, at least 21 activists under 18 years old have been summoned over royal defamation charges.

Four of them were 14 years old but the most recent is the youngest of them all at 14 years and seven months old.

Arnon accused the high schooler of attending the protest at the Giant Swing near Bangkok City Hall on October 13 and participating in the writing of a placard calling for the abolition of Section 112.

Thai Rath reports that a lot of people attended the protest, where the media and police were also present. Undercover police officers allegedly joined the protest to take photos and film demonstrators.

Section 112 of the Criminal Code, “Insulting or Defaming the Royal Family,” states:

“Whoever, defames, insults or threatens the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent, shall be punished with imprisonment of three to 15 years.”

However, the prison sentence can exceed 15 years if the accused is found guilty of more than one count of royal defamation.

Last week, a 28 year old activist from Chiang Rai province in northern Thailand was sentenced to 28 years in prison for two counts of royal defamation after posting “defamatory” comments on social media.

The highest jail term sentenced over a royal defamation case came in 2021 when a Thai court handed down a 43-year jail term to a woman found guilty of insulting the monarchy.

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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.

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