Udayavni Special

What is Article 112 of Thailand’s criminal code that students demanded be repealed?


Team Udayavani, Sep 17, 2020, 2:06 PM IST

Thailand’s lese-majeste law, which forbids the insult of the monarchy, is among the strictest in the world. The law makes it illegal to insult the monarchy.

As per Article 112 of Thailand’s criminal code, anyone convicted of defaming, insulting, or threatening the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent, faces between three and 15 years in prison on each count.

This law has remained virtually unchanged since the creation of the country’s first criminal code in 1908, although the penalty was toughened in 1976.

Also, there is no definition of what constitutes an insult to the monarchy, Lese-majeste complaints can be filed by anyone, against anyone and must be investigated by police

However, a few student leaders have called for the abolition of the laws as a pro-democracy movement gathers steam in Thailand.

According to BBC, The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights says the number of people investigated for lese-majeste has risen to more than double the number investigated in the previous 12 years. Only 4% of those charged in 2016 were acquitted.

Some prominent activists, including student leaders, have included the abolition of 112 in its list of demands, calling for an open discussion of the royal family’s role in Thailand.

 

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