Student Activist Jailed In Thailand For Sharing a BBC Story

Lianne Hikind | August 16, 2017
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A student and activist in Thailand just received a two-and-a-half year sentence in prison. His crime? "Defaming the monarchy."

The student, Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, shared, along with 2,800 others, a BBC Thailand profile on the King of Thailand two days after the new king, Maha Vajiralongkorn, ascended the throne. 

Japut was the only person to be prosecuted for sharing the profile.

The BBC reports:

Thailand has very strict lese-majeste laws, which ban any criticism of the country's monarchy. In December, Mr. Jatupat was charged with defaming the monarchy and detained in north-eastern Thailand. The court in Khon Kaen later denied at least 10 requests for his release on bail.

Boonpattararaksa initially contested the charges, but is pleading guilty to avoid a suggested 15-year sentence. According to the BBC:

Pleading guilty in lese-majeste cases can significantly reduce sentences in Thailand, where punishment can be severe; in June, one man was jailed for 35 years.

For anyone who's still confused about intolerance, this is what oppression looks like.