Former Thai PM Thaksin to Face Royal Insult Charges

Former Thai PM Thaksin to Face Royal Insult Charges
Image copyright: Sirachai Arunrugstichai/Stringer/Getty Images News via Getty Images

The Facts

  • Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra will be indicted on charges under Thailand's lèse majesté law over a 2015 interview in which he said the king's top advisory body helped engineer the 2014 military takeover.

  • According to a spokesman for the attorney general's office, Thaksin is scheduled to appear in court on June 18 to answer charges of insulting the monarchy. He also faces charges related to alleged violations of the Computer Crime Act.

The Spin

Narrative A

It's a matter of concern that the Thai judicial system has sought to use this archaic and oppressive law against yet another political figure who merely talked about the monarchy. As if criminalizing free speech wasn't authoritarian enough, the prosecution carries no burden of proof — and even factual statements can be punished.

Narrative B

Section 112 of the Criminal Code, commonly known as Thailand's lèse majesté law, protects key national institutions and national security while reflecting the country's culture and history. Except for some fringe troublemakers, the Thai populace respects the monarchy and recognizes it as one of the nation's main pillars.

Metaculus Prediction

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