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Female lawmaker, Srinork bags six years jail term for insulting monarch

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Rukchanok “Ice” Srinork, a Thai female MP has been sentenced to six years in prison under the country’s harsh lese-majeste laws, and if bail is denied, she may lose her seat.

Rukchanok “Ice” Srinork was accused of tweeting anti-monarchy messages. She entered a not-guilty plea.

Srinork’s Move Forward party, which won the election this year, had advocated for reform of the lese-majeste laws.

The unelected senate, however, cited this as the primary reason for opposing Move Forward’s attempt to form a government.

Opposition to lese-majeste laws was one of the issues that sparked months-long protests in 2020. Since 2020, approximately 260 charges have been filed under the lese-majeste law, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights.

Approximately 2,000 people have been charged under various laws for their participation in the protests.

Just this week, a 26-year-old man was sentenced to prison for yelling at a passing royal motorcade about a societal burden. He was released on bail.

On Wednesday, Ice was found guilty of insulting the monarch by a Bangkok court for two posts she made before joining the Move Forward party: the first was a critique of the country’s response to the pandemic, and the second was a repost of a tweet that was said to be critical of the monarchy.

Her victory in Bang Bon, a constituency near Bangkok that had been the fiefdom of one of Thailand’s most powerful political clans for decades, was perhaps the most dramatic of many shock victories by the young Move Forward candidates in the May general election; she won after a no-frills campaign largely on a bicycle.

A Thai media outlet dubbed her a “giant killer” after she took the seat of a political heavyweight.

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