Woman sentenced to prison for dressing up as Thai queen gets bail

Bangkok, Sep 14 (EFE).- A court in Thailand on Wednesday granted bail to activist Jatuporn Sae-ung, sentenced to two years in prison for defaming the monarchy by dressing up as Queen Suthida during a protest in 2020, her lawyers said.

A spokesperson of nonprofit Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), which is defending her, confirmed to EFE that an appeals court had set a bail of 300,000 baht ($8,180.)

Sae-ung, 25, will be released sometime on Wednesday from the Bangkok jail where she has been held since her conviction on Monday, TLHR added.

The activist will be free on bail while the appeals court deals with her case.

In October 2020, the young woman paraded through one of the main avenues of Bangkok sporting a pink silk suit and a small gold bag during one of the protests, organized by young university students, demanding a reform of the political system, including the role of the monarchy.

Her clothes and style of walking, followed by an attendant holding an umbrella over her head, were interpreted as portraying the queen.

This conviction is the latest in a wide-ranging crackdown by the Thai authorities to stifle the pro-democracy movement, which staged massive protests in mid-2020 that sparked a public debate on the role of Thailand’s all-powerful monarchy in society.

Article 112 of the country’s Penal Code provides penalties of between 3 and 15 years for those who “defame, insult or threaten” members of the royal family.

The current monarch, King Vajiralongkorn, who ascended the throne in October 2016, has not inherited the charisma and respect enjoyed by his father, late Bhumibol Adulyadej, who reigned for seven decades and was revered by many Thais as the “father of the nation.”

Some 200 people, including minors, have been charged with lèse-majesté in the past 18 months, according to TLHR’s data. EFE


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