Military files lèse majesté charge against woman, likely due to fake Facebook account

The military on Saturday accused a woman of defaming the King on her Facebook account. However, the Facebook account is suspected of being fake and a ploy to damage the woman.
 
Lt Col Burin Thongprapai, on the staff of the military Judge Advocate General’s Department, on Saturday afternoon filed a case under Article 112 or the lèse majesté law against Jaruwan E., 26, at the Crime Suppression Division. 
 
Burin submitted three pieces of content posted under the public Facebook page with the name Jaruwan E. (full name and surname in Thai).
 
He said he was assigned by the Army to file the case with the police and will definitely have this case tried by military court.  
 
The military officer added that after searching for her name in the civil registration, he found that her registered residence is in central Phetchabun Province. 
 
“I think she did too much -- defaming the revered institution of the Thai people. This kind of person should not be born Thai. Anyway, I’ll have the police investigate the case to see whether anyone is behind her or supports her. If there are, I’ll have them all arrested,” ASTV-Manager quoted the Judge Advocate General’s Department staff member, as saying.      
 
Prachatai has inspected the Facebook page and found that it was created only on Friday. Most of the posts are selfie pictures of a woman. In one post, a picture of HM the King was posted along with a curse. This post appeared on Friday, but was shared almost 6,000 times, and received about 43,000 likes. Most of the comments on the page fiercely condemned her.
 
Since Thailand has a severe lèse majesté law and whoever speaks publicly against the Thai monarchy easily becomes the target of political cyber bullying, most of the explicit lèse majesté comments online are posted anonymously or under pseudonyms. There are only a few cases where Thais living abroad have defamed the King using social network accounts under their real names. 
 
According to the Thai Netizen Network 2011 Annual Report, there were a few cases where spoof Facebook pages/accounts using names and photos of third parties were created to disseminate messages defaming the monarchy, with the aim of having these persons bullied and face lèse majesté charges as a way to cause them trouble. In 2011, however, spoof Facebook pages were one of the tactics used by anonymous defamers against royalists/bullying groups. 
 
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