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A 19-year-old man in Ubon Ratchathani said he received on 17 March 2022 a summons on a royal defamation charge, possibly for a protest sign he used during a protest on 15 August 2021.

The picture for which Kittipon believes he has been charged with royal defamation

Kittipon Thaingamsil said two plainclothes officers came to his home to deliver a summons from Muang Ubon Ratchathani Police Station on a royal defamation charge ordering him to report to the police station on 24 March 2022.

Kittipon told Prachatai that he believes he has been charged because he posted a picture of himself standing in front of a portrait of King Vajiralongkorn while holding a sign saying “I’m starving during the reign of King Rama X” and a flag with three lines symbolizing the three-finger salute, a recognized symbol of the pro-democracy movement, during a “car mob” protest on 15 August 2021 in Ubon Ratchathani. He said he has no hidden agenda but was only expressing his living conditions at the time.

The 19-year-old has a vocational certificate in computer graphic design. He is currently unemployed and lives with his grandmother and sister.  

Kittipon said he joined several protests in Ubon Ratchathani, including the Stand Against Detention protests to demand the release of detained activists. He was previously charged with violation of the Emergency Decree for participating in a “car mob” protest on 1 August 2021, and with violation of the Traffic Act, the Sound Amplifier Act, and the Communicable Diseases Act for participating in the 15 August 2021 protest.

According to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), at least 182 people have been charged with royal defamation under Section 112 of the Thai Criminal Code for their political expression since November 2020. Many activists are also facing several counts of the charge, such as Parit Chiwarak, who is facing 23 counts; Anon Nampa, 14 counts; Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, 10 counts, Panupong Jadnok, 9 counts; and Benja Apan, 7 counts.

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