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A 51-year-old man has been sentenced to 36 years in prison for 12 Facebook posts. The sentence was reduced to 12 years and 72 months without parole.

The Minburi Criminal Court on Wednesday ruled that Wut (pseudonym), a 51-year-old man, was guilty under the royal defamation law and the Computer-Related Crime Act for 12 Facebook posts in 2021. He was sentenced to 36 years in prison, reduced to 12 years and 72 months due to his guilty plea, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights(TLHR).

In 2021, Wut faced charges over 10 FB posts and two more were added in 2022. He was indicted on 27 March 2023 when he denied all allegations. He was later sent to Minburi Remand Prison and has not been allowed bail since, even though his lawyer filed a three bail requests. The Court claimed that he committed multiple offences without fear of the law. The Court also expressed concern that he might flee if released on bail.

The indictment stated that Wut posted FB messages containing an image of the King and Queen, with content that defamed, insulted, and showed malicious intent towards the King. His messages were allegedly intended to lead readers to believe that the King, Queen, and the royal family were bad people, aiming to reduce their credibility. The messages also violated the provisions of the Computer-Related Crime Act related to national security.

TLHR reported that Wut started to be interested in politics when he was 20 years old and he followed politics closely. When he had free time, he often participated in political demonstrations as a citizen.

“I have not belonged to any group. I do not have a group. I might go with friends sometimes, but I went because of my ‘belief’ and faith in democracy, that all ‘people are equal’. That is why I want to come out and express my opinions”

Wut’s lengthy pre-trial detention affected his life and his family for whom he was the breadwinner. His partner said that since he has been detained, the family has borrowed a lot of money to cover living expenses.

He has faced various forms of discrimination as he is the only political prisoner held at the prison. Some prisoners with different political views often ask him in a threatening manner, "Why don’t you love the monarchy?" Wut was also physically abused by other inmates.

“Being the only one here. I have to live very carefully. It is difficult to talk or communicate. As the only political prisoner in the prison, it feels really ‘unsafe’,” said Wut.

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