Human Interest

Woman gets 2 years in prison for dressing up as Thai queen

Bangkok, Sep 12 (EFE).- A Thai court sentenced activist Jatuporn Sae-ung, 25, to two years in prison Monday for defaming the monarchy by dressing up as Queen Suthida during a protest in October 2020, their lawyers reported.

The young woman paraded through one of the main avenues of Bangkok dressed in a pink silk suit and a small gold bag, during one of the demonstrations organized by young university students who demand democratic and monarchical reform in the country.

Her clothes and style when walking, followed by a retinue that protects her under an umbrella, is similar to the acts of reception to the representatives of the Thai monarchy.

A spokesman for the NGO Thai Lawyers for Human Rights told EFE that the Bangkok court reduced the defendant’s sentence from three to two years in prison for collaborating with the justice system in her statement.

This conviction is the latest in a wide-ranging legal campaign launched by the authorities to suffocate in court the pro-democracy movement, which staged massive protests in mid-2020 and has succeeded in opening public debate on the role of Thailand’s all-powerful monarchy in society.

Article 112 of the Penal Code establishes penalties of between three and 15 years in prison for anyone who defames, insults or threatens the king, queen or crown prince, while the institution has lost supporters among Thais in recent years.

King Vajiralongkorn, who ascended the throne in October 2016 after the death of his father, King Bhumibol, has not inherited the popularity of his father, who reigned for seven decades and was revered by many Thais as the father of the nation and as a practically semi-divine figure.

Some 200 people, including minors, have been charged with lese majesty in the past 18 months, according to the lawyer NGO’s data. EFE


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