A Thai woman has been sentenced to a 'record-breaking' prison term of 43 years and 6 months for the 'defamation' of the monarchy under the lèse-majesté.
Identified as Anchan, a 65-year-old woman was sentenced to an 87-years prison term for 29 counts of violating Thai laws on defamation of monarchy. The sentence was halved after she pleaded guilty.
Her name has been kept private by the lawyers for the protection of her family and friends.
She had posted several clips on YouTube and Facebook that were deemed critical of the monarchy.
This is the longest prison sentence for such crimes. According to the lèse-majesté law, such activities are punishable for 3 to 15 years in prison.
This law is widely controversial not just because it attacks freedom of speech but it can also imprison somebody just for liking a post on Facebook. And anyone, not just royals or authorities, can lodge a complaint that can lead to legal proceedings lasting years.
"I thought it was nothing. Some so many people shared this content and listened to it. The guy [who made the content] had done it for so many years," Anchan said. "So I didn't really think this through and was too confident and not being careful enough to realize at the time that it wasn't appropriate."
In recent times the use of lèse-majesté has increased to suppress the voice of the pro-democratic supporters.
The previous record for lèse-majesté law was set when a man was sentenced to a 35 years prison-term in 2017 by a military court for making Social Media post that was deemed critical of Monarchy.