A man in Thailand could be jailed for 32 years under the country's strict lese majeste laws. He had allegedly clicked "like" on a doctored photograph of King Bhumibol Adulyadej that appeared on Facebook. Thanakorn Siripaiboon, 27, is also accused of sharing an infographic related to a corruption scandal in the country.
Thanakorn, who has also been charged with sedition and computer crimes, has confessed to the charges, legal officer for the junta, Colonel Burin Thongprapai, said. "On December 2, he clicked 'like' on a doctored photo of the King and shared it with 608 friends," Burin said. Siripaiboon was arrested at his home in Samut Prakan, near Bangkok.
"Thanakorn, who belonged to an opposition Red Shirt Facebook group, also shared an infographic about Rajabhakti Park, a multi-million-dollar park built by the military under construction contracts allegedly riddled with kickbacks and inflated costs," according to AFP. He admitted to posting the infographic "to incite members of the group", Burin said.
In November, a woman charged with sedition for sharing the same infographic had committed suicide. Back in August, a man was sentenced to 30 years in prison for his Facebook posts mocking the king. "What he wrote was beyond rude," Bangkok military court chief judge Major General Panomthep Wesaratchanun said. Nobody knows the contents of what he wrote, as his trial was conducted behind closed doors.
In 2007, Swiss national Oliver Jufer was sentenced to 10 years in prison for defacing images of the king. He, however, was pardoned by the royal and told to leave Thailand, where he had lived for more than 10 years. In 2010, a 61-year-old man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for allegedly sending text messages to the queen that were deemed offensive.
The country had once banned YouTube after a video showed a pair of feet alongside the photograph of the king. Under the lese majeste laws, people can be jailed for up to 15 years for insulting or threatening the monarchy.