Thai court rules protesters sought to topple monarchy as kingdom defends royal insults law at UN

The Constitutional Court, ruling in a case introduced by a royalist lawyer, stated a controversial 10-point name for reforms of the establishment by three pupil protest leaders in August final yr was designed to topple the monarchy.

“The actions have hidden intentions to overthrow the constitutional monarchy and were not a call for reform,” a courtroom choose stated.

The courtroom was ruling on the constitutionality of their reform name and imposed no penalty however ordered them and their teams “to cease further action in these matters”.

The position of the monarchy is a taboo matter in Thailand, the place the palace is formally above politics and constitutionally enshrined to be held in “revered worship”.

The ruling comes as Thailand defended its controversial law criminalizing criticism of its monarchy on Wednesday, following considerations expressed by United Nations member states over its rights report and arrests of younger protesters pushing for royal reforms.

Thailand has one of many world’s harshest “lese majeste” legal guidelines, setting jail phrases of as much as 15 years for anybody convicted of defaming, insulting or threatening King Maha Vajiralongkorn and his closest household.

During a common periodic assessment on Wednesday by a working group of the UN Human Rights Council, Thailand was urged to amend its lese majeste legislation by some member states who stated it restricted freedom of expression.

Thai officers, nevertheless, argued it protects the monarch and subsequently nationwide safety, and that royal insult circumstances have been rigorously dealt with.

Protesters Panupong Jadnok, Parit Chiwarak, Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul and Arnon Nampa arrive to report to police in Bangkok on November 30, 2020.

Protest motion

The requires royal reform by members of a youth-led anti-government protest movement have been daring and extremely vital in a rustic that has jailed dozens of critics of the crown and historically upholds the king as semi-divine.

The courtroom case involved a speech by Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul calling for amendments to crown property legal guidelines, lowering the royal household’s funds allocation and looking for the abolition of the lese majeste legislation.

Two different protesters, human rights lawyer Arnon Nampa, 37, and Panupong “Mike” Jadnok, 24, additionally spoke on the identical rally.

A bunch of protesters gathered close to the courtroom on Wednesday, amongst them Panusaya, who stated overthrowing the monarchy was not her purpose however that she revered the ruling.

Arnon and Panupong are presently in jail in pre-trial detention on different prices and their lawyer, Kritsadang Nutcharat, stated they too had no want to topple the monarchy.

“The ruling could impact future calls for reform,” Kritsadang added.

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