An online petition calling for Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn to be declared persona non grata in Germany has been blocked by the Thai government. According to the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, the content of the petition, which is listed on the site Change.org, is said to have violated Thailand's Computer Crime Act.
The Thai King ascended to his throne in 2016 but has long been criticised for spending too much of his time in his home in Bavaria, Germany. For quite some time, the country has been trying to get a grip on some of its biggest pro-democracy protests to date.
Thousands of protesters gathered in the capital on Thursday, despite a government ban on demonstrations. They were also seen lined up on the street as they jeered and held up their three-fingered salute as a motorcade passed carrying the queen through Bangkok.
The uprising started earlier this year after a political opposition party was ordered to dissolve. These movements have become the biggest challenge for the Thai government in years, pushing the government to extend its ban on protests for another month as the king is currently visiting Thailand.
The king's detractors have called for amendments to the constitution as well as the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and to give way for a new election. They are also demanding for certain curbs on the monarch's powers being that any criticism aimed at the monarchy is deemed punishable by sentences that extend to long years of imprisonment. The petition has since attracted some 130,000 signatures before the government pulled the plug on the site.
According to the BBC, the petition which is written in Thai, English and German languages, came from a Thai graduate student in France. He called for Germany to declare a persona non grata on the king, disallowing him to retain continued residence. In response to this, Germany's foreign minister reiterates that King Vajiralongkorn should not be engaging in politics while he is in residence within Germany's borders.
Anyone in Thailand who tries to access the petition will find an online notice stating the petition content had been suspended under violation of the Computer-related Crime Act of 2007 and the Gambling Act of 1935. However, the petition is still accessible outside of Thailand.