Blind woman gets 1.5 years for lèse majesté

A court in the Deep South has sentenced a blind woman to one year and six months in prison for royal defamation.  

On 4 January 2018, the Provincial Court of Yala sentenced Nuruhayati Masoe, a 23-year-old who is blind, to three years in prison for violating Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law.

She was accused of royal defamation for sharing an article by Giles Ji Ungpakorn, an academic and political activist who fled from Thailand to the UK in 2009 after he was charged with lèse majesté.

She posted to the article to her Facebook account through an application for blind people after the death of the late King Bhumibol, after which other people with visual impairment filed a complaint against her.

As she pleaded guilty, the court halved the jail term to one year and six months.

Despite the fact that Nuruhayati is blind, the court did not suspend the jail term citing the severity of the offence.

Since 2007, Prachatai English has been covering underreported issues in Thailand, especially about democratization and human rights, despite the risk and pressure from the law and the authorities. However, with only 2 full-time reporters and increasing annual operating costs, keeping our work going is a challenge. Your support will ensure we stay a professional media source and be able to expand our team to meet the challenges and deliver timely and in-depth reporting.

• Simple steps to support Prachatai English

1. Bank transfer to account “โครงการหนังสือพิมพ์อินเทอร์เน็ต ประชาไท” or “Prachatai Online Newspaper” 091-0-21689-4, Krungthai Bank

2. Or, Transfer money via Paypal, to e-mail address: service@prachatai.com, please leave a comment on the transaction as “For Prachatai English”