Maverick politician Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit has been charged simply for raising questions about a newly formed company under the Crown Property Bureau that has been granted permission to handle Thailand’s faltering Covid-19 vaccination drive. (Photo: AFP)
Thailand’s draconian royal defamation law has long been panned by rights advocates and progressive Thais alike as deeply undemocratic, and now a few brave opposition politicians are hoping to do something about it.
Staunch royalists and pro-establishment members of Thailand’s military-dominated parliament will have none of it, however. They are up in arms over any attempts to have the highly controversial lese majeste law debated by lawmakers.
In a courageous move, a progressive party of opposition politicians called Move Forward, which was formed last year after a popular liberal party called Future Forward was disbanded by a court over a legal technicality, has signaled its intent to challenge Article 112 of Thailand’s Criminal Code.
The law prescribes a mandatory minimum of three years and a maximum of 15 years in prison for anyone convicted of defaming members of the royal family.