Thai Student Accused of Offending Thailand's King by Wearing Crop Top Denied Bail - Report

© REUTERS / ATHIT PERAWONGMETHAPanupong "Mike Rayong" Jadnok, Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak, Panusaya "Rung" Sithijirawattanakul and Arnon Nampa, a rights lawyer and protest leader arrive to report themselves to police summons to acknowledge additional charges of Article 112 for actions deemed as insult to the monarchy, at a police station in Bangkok, Thailand, November 30, 2020.
Panupong Mike Rayong Jadnok, Parit Penguin Chiwarak, Panusaya Rung Sithijirawattanakul and Arnon Nampa, a rights lawyer and protest leader arrive to report themselves to police summons to acknowledge additional charges of Article 112 for actions deemed as insult to the monarchy, at a police station in Bangkok, Thailand, November 30, 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.11.2021
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The student activist reportedly faces some nine cases of lese-majeste, which may lead to a sentence of up to 135 years in prison.
Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, a Thai student activist currently being held in pre-trial detention on charges of insulting the country’s monarchy, had been denied bail, The Guardian reports.
Last December Panusaya and her friends went to a shopping mall in Bangkok wearing crop tops and carrying dog-shaped balloons, with phrases such as “I have only one father” written on their skin with markers.
The group’s attire and the messages they had inscribed onto themselves were reportedly deemed an attempt to mock Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn, and a legal complaint accusing the group of breaching the country’s lese-majesty law had been filed against them.
Anti-government blues musician Ammy The Bottom Blues receives flowers as he is wheeled on a hospital bed outside the Office of the Attorney General in Bangkok on February 17, 2021, before the state prosecutor decided whether to indict 18 activists on charges including sedition and lese majeste related to anti-government protests in 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.03.2021
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As the newspaper points out, Thailand's king is “known to own poodles”, and is regarded as the “father” of the nation by royalists; the girls' attire was a nod to images of the monarch wearing crop tops previously circulating online.
“Initially, the young protesters thought Thai authorities would not accuse anybody of 112 for wearing crop tops,” said Krisadang Nutcharut, Panusaya’s lawyer (Section 112 of the Thai Criminal Code brands lese-majeste a crime). “I am telling everyone now that they should be aware it might lead to an indictment.”
Panusaya currently faces nine lese-majeste cases, which might land her in jail for up to 135 years (one case can lead to a sentence of up to 15 years), while a fellow student protester, Parit Chiwarak, faces some 22 cases of lese-majeste, the newspaper adds.
Over 150 people in the country, including twelve children, reportedly face lese-majesty complaints, for allegedly committing offences such as “wearing fancy dress that are said to mock the royals, to making speeches calling for reform, or posting perceived criticisms of the monarchy on social media”.
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