Court accepts charges against lawyer facing 50 years in jail for lèse majesté

The Criminal court has accepted charges against a human rights lawyer facing five decades in prison for royal defamation and sedition.

On 25 July 2017, the Criminal Court on Ratchadapisek Rd., Bangkok, accepted charges against Prawais Prapanugool, a human rights lawyer, after the prosecutor indicted him under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law and Article 116, the sedition law.

According to the prosecutor, from 25 January to 23 April 2017 Prawais allegedly imported content deemed defamatory to the monarchy and seditious.

He is also charged under Article 14(3) of the Computer Crime Act for importing illegal information online and violation of an Order by the Council for Democratic Reform (the 2006 coup-makers) for obstructing the police from obtaining his fingerprints.  

The maximum penalties for Prawais for all counts of lèse majesté and sedition add up to 171 years, as he is accused of 10 counts of lèse majesté and three counts under the sedition law. Under Thailand’s Criminal Code, however, the maximum total jail term other than life imprisonment is 50 years.

Prawais was one of six people arrested by police and military officers on 29 April 2017 before being taken to the 11th Military Circle in Bangkok. He has remained in custody since.

According to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, Prawais allegedly posted Facebook comments asserting that Thailand should become a republic.

Prawais Prapanugool

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