20 years on lese majeste

Back in February 2015 the military junta began arresting people and charging them with lese majeste for allegedly being part of the Banpot anti-monarchist network.

By July that year it seemed that the arrests totaled 14.They were accused of distributing online materials that insulted the monarchy. Banpot produced radio programs distributed via the internet. His programs were long talk shows about politics and the monarchy. Many of the shows reproduced the rumors whirling around the royal family.

Two of these arrested decided to defend the case, which meant two years in jail for one named Tara W. while he was “convinced” to plead guilty.

Tara finally changed his plea to guilty on 26 June 2017. The Bangkok Post reports that on 9 August 2017 the 61-year-old Tara was jailed for 20 years “for posting six video clips deemed insulting to the monarchy…”. The military court backdated the 20 years to his arrest, meaning he has a further 18 years to serve.

Tara cannot appeal his sentence “because he was arrested while Thailand was under martial law.”

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