This Thai activist-turned-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.
She is a member of the progressive Move Forward party, which won the Thai elections earlier in 2023 but was blocked from taking power.
She was sentenced on Wednesday Dec. 13 over two posts on X, formerly known as Twitter, in 2020, before she joined Move Forward.
In one post, she said that the government was using its distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to promote the monarchy’s image.
The other post was a repost by another user that was “graphically worded”, according to Reuters.
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.
The court said that Ice had defamed the monarchy and showed “great malice” towards the king and sentenced her to six years.
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.
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.
More and more activist have been accused of “insulting” the monarchy in Thailand in recent years.
Rights groups say at least 262 people have been charged with insulting the monarchy since 2020.