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This Thai Activist Politician Has Been Sentenced To Six Years In Prison For Criticizing The Monarchy

29-year-old Rukchanok Srinork, also known as “Ice”, rose to fame as an activist during the mass, pro-democracy protests that swept Thailand from 2020 to 2021.

This Thai activist-turned-politician has been sentenced to six years in prison for criticizing the monarchy.

ukchanok srinork ice thailand

29-year-old Rukchanok Srinork, also known as “Ice”, rose to fame as an activist during the mass, pro-democracy protests that swept Thailand from 2020 to 2021.

Rukchanok Srinork thai activitist criticizing monarchy

She is a member of the progressive Move Forward party, which won the Thai elections earlier in 2023 but was blocked from taking power.

Rukchanok Srinork thailand activitist
thai Rukchanok Srinork

She was sentenced on Wednesday Dec. 13 over two posts on X, formerly known as Twitter, in 2020, before she joined Move Forward.

Rukchanok Srinork thailand

In one post, she said that the government was using its distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to promote the monarchy’s image.

thailand activitist Rukchanok Srinork

The other post was a repost by another user that was “graphically worded”, according to Reuters.

ukchanok srinork ice criticize monarchy

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.

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. (THAI TV POOL/AFP/Getty Images)

The court said that Ice had defamed the monarchy and showed “great malice” towards the king and sentenced her to six years.

ukchanok srinork ice thailand activist

She has since been released on bail for 500,000 baht, almost US$14,000, on the condition she does not repeat the offense and says she intends to appeal.

thailand Rukchanok Srinork activist

Move Forward had run on a campaign of promoting democracy, removing the military’s influence on politics and revising the lèse-majeste law, which carries sentences of three to 15 years.

Rukchanok Srinork activist of thailand

More and more activist have been accused of “insulting” the monarchy in Thailand in recent years.

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 after presiding over a religious ceremony at a Buddhist temple inside the palace. (Photo by JACK TAYLOR/AFP via Getty Images)

Rights groups say at least 262 people have been charged with insulting the monarchy since 2020.

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