Thai court jails blind woman for 1-1/2 years over royal insult

Thailand’s Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn attends an event commemorating the death of King Chulalongkorn, known as King Rama V, as he joins people during the mourning of his father, the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, at the Royal Plaza in Bangkok, Thailand, October 23, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha A Thai court on Thursday jailed a blind woman for 1-1/2 years for violating the country’s royal insult law, her lawyer and a court official said. Thailand’s lese-majeste law is the toughest in the world, and those judged guilty of breaking it face up to 15 years in jail for each count of offending the king, queen, heir or regent. Nurhayati Masoh, 23, was found guilty after she posted on her Facebook account an article by Giles Ungpakorn, a Thai-British academic and vocal opponent of the Thai monarchy who fled Thailand after he was charged with lese majeste in 2009. “She confessed that she posted it,” Kaosar Aleemama, a lawyer for Nurhayati, told Reuters. “But she did not realize it would lead to such a harsh punishment.” Nurhayati, who uses a computer application that helps the visually impaired to post on social media, was arrested in November and sentenced to three years in jail by a court in the southern province of Yala. “The case against her was filed on November 28, 2017 and she has been detained since,” an official at the Yala Provincial Court, who declined to be named, told Reuters. Nurhayati’s confession led to her sentence being halved, he…

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