Two influencers charged with royal defamation over notorious Lazada advert

On 24 May 2023, the Criminal Court initiated prosecutions against Thai influencers Mom Dew and Nurat under the royal defamation law (Section 112) over a notorious Lazada advertisement in May 2022, according to a report by Thai Lawyers for Human Rights.

On 4 May 2022, social media influencer Aniwat “Nara Crepe Katoey” Prathumthin posted a video to promote a Lazada sales campaign.

In the video, Thidarat “Nurat” Chaokuwiang, a hearing-impaired influencer wearing a traditional Thai costume, sat in a wheelchair, allegedly making fun of the disability of Princess Chulabhorn, the youngest sister of King Rama X.

Kittikoon Thammakitirad, the owner of Mom Dew Diary, wore an outfit that can be seen as similar to those worn by Queen Sirikit.

In this case, Srisuwan Janya an, activist known as Thailand’s “complainer-in-chief,” filed a complaint against Mom Dew and Nurat. On 16 June 2022,  They were apprehended on arrest warrants issued by the Criminal Court. They were charged with "conspiracy to commit defamation, insult, or threaten the life of the King, Queen, Heir-apparent, or Regent."

All of the accused – Nurat, Mom Dew, Nara, and the advertising and production companies– are charged under the royal defamation law. Nara and the two companies face an additional charge under the Computer-Related Crime Act. 

In this case, the royal defamation charge is filed with respect to two acts. The first involves Nurat, Nara, and the two companies that created content showing malicious intent towards the monarchy.

The second involves Mom Dew who appeared at the end of the video.  

The court accuses Nara of being responsible for creating and posting the video on social media where Nurat acts as a disabled person in a way that allegedly makes fun of Princess Chulabhorn. Mom Dew is alleged to have used a specific tone of voice that she does not normally use, indicating that she intended to mock Queen Sirikit.

The prosecution concludes that the actions intentionally led the public to understand that the accused insulted Princess Chulabhorn and Queen Sirikit, and damaged King Rama X’s dignity.

The prosecution opposed bail, saying that the case has a heavy penalty and relates to national security. 

The Criminal Court granted bail at 90,000 baht each on the condition that the accused are prohibited from committing the same act and from assembling to cause unrest. 

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