Thai Court Adds Jail Time for Rights Lawyer Who Urged Monarchy Reform


A Thai court sentenced the prominent human rights lawyer Arnon Nampa, 39, to a further two years and 20 days in prison and a fine of 100 baht ($2.70) for royal insult, breaching of an emergency decree, and other charges related to a speech he made at a political rally in 2021.

Arnon is currently serving eight years in prison for two royal insult convictions, one stemming from a speech at a political rally in 2020 and another from a social media post in 2021. He has been in prison since September last year. The latest sentence was ordered to run consecutively which means Arnon will now serve 10 years and 20 days, according to legal aid group Thai Lawyers for Human Rights.

Thailand's lese-majeste law, one of the world's toughest, protects the monarchy from criticism and carries a maximum jail sentence of up to 15 years for each perceived royal insult. The April 29 verdict is the third of 14 cases against Arnon, a lawyer-turned-protest leader of a youth-led democracy movement that held protests in Bangkok in 2020, calling for reform of the monarchy.

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