UN Calls for Thai Law to be Amended after 30 Year Sentence for Insulting the King

by Admin on August 14, 2015

Following last week’s news that a man would be imprisoned for 30 years on charges of lese majeste, the UN has spoken out at what it calls a “shockingly disproportionate prison terms,” reports Business Insider.

The Thai military courts sentenced two people, one for 30 years and one for 28 years, for insulting the King. These are the heaviest sentences of this kind in Thai history.

U.N. rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasan said:

Defamation lawyers in Thailand Chaninat and Leeds have decades of experience in successfully handling defamation cases.

“We also urge the military government to amend the vague and broad lèse-majesté law to bring it in line with international human rights standards […] Until the law is amended, such laws should not be used arbitrarily to curb debate on critical issues of public interest, even when it involves criticism of heads of state or government.”

Image Credit: shankar s. (Flickr)
The King of Thailand. Image Credit: shankar s. (Flickr)

The news of the sentences comes at a time of anxiety over the Thai king’s health. King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the world’s longest reigning monarch, having served over 69 years. He has recently been treated for ‘water on the brain.’

Since the Thai military coup in May 2014, there has been a rise in lese majeste occurrences, with 40 cases recorded.

Read the full story here.

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