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Thailand demonstrates its inhumanity sentencing a woman to 43 years in prison for insulting the Thai monarchy

by Donna Millsap - The Oregon Herald    Wednesday January 20, 2021 - 2:38 AM
INHUMANITY
* Anchan Preelert *
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Anchan Preelert
Bangkok - On Tuesday, 65-year-old Anchan Preelert has been sentenced to 43-years in prison by a Thai court for insulting the monarchy. This sentence means she will die in prison and the sentence can be seen as a "warning shot" to protesters demanding reform in the kingdom.

The sentence is believed to be the harshest ever given under Thailand's lese majeste laws and comes after months of youth-led protests last year openly calling for reform of Thailand's powerful monarchy and greater democratic freedoms.

The verdict will probably send a cold warning through the movement that they have no voice, as dozens of protest leaders and activists are charged with the same petty crime against a childish, self-centered monarch.

Thailand has some of the world's strictest laws against defaming or criticizing the king, queen, heir-apparent or regent. The laws, which are known as lese majeste, can result in a 15-year prison sentence for each violation.

Anchan Preelert pleaded guilty to simply sharing audio clips on YouTube and Facebook between 2014 and 2015. They were deemed critical of the kingdom's royal family, according to the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights. Anchan Preelert was convicted of 29 counts, with three years for each.

The initial sentence was 87 years but cut in half because of Anchan pleaded guilty. "The sentence is the highest ever handed down by Thai court from violating Section 112," said her lawyer Pawinee Chumsri, referring to the lese majeste law.