Thai Magazine Editor Jailed For 10 Years For Insulting The King

Category: World / Jan 23, 2013 11:52AM EDT
A Thai magazine editor was jailed for 10 years on Wednesday (January 23) for insulting the royal family under the country's draconian lese-majeste law. Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, editor of "Voice of the Oppressed", was found guilty of publishing articles in 2010 defaming the King. Discussions about the role of the monarchy are forbidden in Thailand and websites accused of defaming the royal family are frequently shut down. Somyot, who was jailed for an additional year on an unrelated defamation conviction, was arrested on the lese-majeste charge. Rights groups say the lese-majeste law is used by Thailand's powerful elite to silence political opponents. The 85-year-old king, who has been in hospital since 2009, is seen by many in Thailand as a unifying, semi-divine father figure. Convictions under the controversial law carry a maximum jail term of 15 years.