Ex-red Shirt Guard Arrested for Lese-majeste
He was accused of defaming King Vajiralongkorn by writing three posts on his Facebook page.
Pavin Chachavalpongpun, March 29, 2022
Sombat Thongyoi, a former red shirt guard, has been charged with lese-majeste and sentenced to 6-year imprisonment. He was accused of defaming King Vajiralongkorn by writing three posts on his Facebook page.
In the first message, Sombat repeated the king's own words--Very Brave, Excellent, Thank you--which was given to a royalist who raised the portrait of the king in a protest that called for monarchy reform. This was perceived to be an act of sarcasm against the king.
In the second message which was a play on words (translated from Thai), Sombat wrote, "People wanted to lower the royal expenses, but the king to lower himself and be intimate with the people. This was because deep down, the king knew that he was not popular and wanted to raise his popularity. It is just too late".
In the final message, Sombat wrote, although without specifying the name, "Oh wow, signing an autograph? He thought of himself as a celebrity or something."
The judge perceived these messages to be insulting the king. He was sent to prison to serve his term immediately.