A blind woman in Thailand was sentenced to jail time on Thursday after posting an article critical of the country's monarchy on Facebook. Thailand has some of the harshest lese-majeste laws in the world, often landing those who criticise the royal family with long jail terms.
Last year the United Nations urged the country to amend the law, saying that since Thailand's 2014 military coup, the number of investigations related to the laws had risen to twice that of the previous 12 years. Of those charged, only 4% are acquitted.
According to Reuters, 23-year-old Nurhayati Masoh was jailed for between 12 and 18 months after posting an article on Facebook by Thai-British academic and anti-monarchist Giles Ungpakorn. A lawyer for Nurhayati said that she had admitted posting the article without realising it would lead to such a punishment.
Around 100 people have been prosecuted for insulting the monarchy since the military took political control of the country in 2014, with most pleading guilty to get shorter jail sentences, Reuters reported. Nurhayati was said to have pleaded guilty to have her sentence halved.
The strict laws can even apply to news organisations, limiting what can be written or reported on. In 2016, the BBC faced an investigation after Thai authorities branded an article profiling the country's new king, Maha Vajiralongkorn, as insulting to fledgling ruler.
Those attempting to read the article in Thailand were shown a message reading "inappropriate content" while at least one person was reportedly arrested for sharing a link to the content. Television coverage from the BBC was also blocked by the military government following the death of Thailand's revered King, Bhumibol Adulyadej.