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Thai pair jailed for over two years for royal slur in play

Thai pair jailed for over two years for royal slur in play
Student Patiwat Saraiyaem, 23, and activist Porntip Mankong, 26, had pleaded guilty to defamation following their arrests last August, nearly a year after “The Wolf Bride” -- a satire set in a fictional kingdom -- was performed.

The pair were originally handed five-year jail terms but the sentence was halved due to their confessions, said a judge at Ratchada Criminal Court in Bangkok.

“The court considers their role in the play caused serious damage to the monarchy and sees no reason to suspend their sentences,” he told a packed courtroom including the accused, their relatives and friends as well as representatives from the UN human rights office.

Rights groups say lese majeste prosecutions have surged since the army seized power from an elected government last May, as the military seeks legitimacy from its self-designated role as protector of the monarchy.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej is revered by many in the country as a demi-god and anyone convicted of insulting the king, queen, heir or regent faces up to 15 years in jail.
Agencies

Agencies

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