Activist Gets Four-Year Jail Term for Violating Lese-Majeste Law

On Wednesday, the Criminal Court sentenced activist and lawyer Arnon Nampa to four years in prison. He was found guilty of violating Section 112 of the Criminal Code, known as the lese-majeste law, and of infringing the Computer Crime Act.

The court, after reviewing the case, convicted 40-year-old Arnon of defaming the monarch, following charges initiated by public prosecutors.

It’s important to note that under the lese-majeste law, the maximum possible sentence for such an offense can be up to 15 years in jail.

As a co-leader of a youth-led democracy movement, Arnon was instrumental in organizing protests in Bangkok in 2020.

These protests, which drew hundreds of thousands, aimed to remove then-Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who had seized power in a coup.

In court, prosecutors provided evidence that Arnon had posted three messages on Facebook on January 1, 2021, which allegedly distorted facts and insulted the royal institution.

The court considered the prosecution’s evidence to be reliable and was not persuaded by Arnon’s defense, where he asserted that his intention behind posting the messages was in good faith, seeking to promote reforms to Section 112.

In a previous lese-majeste case related to a 2020 rally, Arnon had already been sentenced to four years in jail and fined 20,000 baht.