This Thai activist Has Been Jailed For 50 Years For Sharing Facebook Posts About The Monarchy

In 2021, Mongkhon Thirakhot shared posts from several Western TV shows on Facebook that included jokes about the Thai king, his wife and their dog.

This Thai activist has been sentenced to a record 50 years in prison for sharing TV show videos on Facebook “criticizing” the monarchy.

In 2021, Mongkhon Thirakhot, a pro-democracy activist, shared posts from several Western TV shows criticizing the Thai monarchy.

mongkhon thirakhot jailed 50 years

His posts included a clip from “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” that included jokes about the Thai king, his wife and their dog, as well as clips from an animated series and a BBC documentary.

Thailands King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida
Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida greets supporters outside the Grand Palace in Bangkok on November 1, 2020. (Photo by Jack TAYLOR / AFP) (Photo by JACK TAYLOR/AFP via Getty Images)

In Thailand, it is illegal to insult, defame or threaten the king, the queen and other members of the royal family under the lèse-majesté law, carrying a sentence of three to 15 years.

thailand king vajiralongkorn queen suthida
This screengrab from Thai TV Pool video taken on May 1, 2019 shows a ceremony in which Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn “legally married” Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayudhya in Bangkok. (Photo by Thai TV Pool / THAI TV POOL / AFP)

In 2023, Mongkhon was sentenced was sentenced to 28 years in prison for sharing 14 posts that “insulted the monarchy”.

But on Jan. 11, the court found him guilty of 11 more counts of criticizing the monarchy, adding 22 years to his sentence.

His total sentence of 50 years is now the longest sentence ever handed down for speaking against the monarchy in Thailand.

However, Mongkhon’s prison sentence was reduced by one-third as he was cooperative during the court’s proceedings.

Thailand protesters led by Jatupat Pai Boonpattararaksa
BANGKOK, THAILAND – 2021/03/07: A Buddhist monk holding a portrait of Arnon Nampa, during the demonstration. (Photo by Watcharawit Phudork/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

At least 262 people have been charged with insulting the monarchy since 2020, according to human rights groups, who have said the government is using the law to silence criticism.

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