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Thai Magazine Editor Jailed for 10 Years for Insulting King

23 Jan 2013

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 Thai magazine editor, Somyot Prueksakasemsuk on leaving court


REUTERS

A Thai magazine editor was jailed for 10 years on Wednesday for insulting the royal family under the country's draconian lese-majeste law.

Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, editor of "Voice of the Oppressed", a magazine devoted to self-exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, was found guilty of publishing articles in 2010 defaming King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The articles criticized the role of a fictional character meant to represent the king, public prosecutors said in a July 2011 report. Discussions about the role of the monarchy are forbidden, reports Reuters.

"The accused is a journalist who had a duty to check the facts in these articles before publishing them. He knew the content defamed the monarchy but allowed their publication anyway," a judge said in passing sentence.

Somyot, who was jailed for an additional year on an unrelated defamation conviction, was arrested on the lese-majeste charge while Oxford-educated, pro-establishment Abhisit Vejjajiva was prime minister.

Current Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Thaksin's sister, promised to amend the law during her 2011 election campaign but has rowed back on that since coming to office, causing divisions among her supporters.

Rights groups say the lese-majeste law is used by Thailand's powerful elite to silence political opponents, including supporters of pro-Thaksin groups.

Tags: Sports, World, Somyot Prueksakasemsuk

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