BANGKOK – Thailand’s Military Court on Friday sentenced a welder from Northeastern Thailand to 11 years and four months in jail for lese majeste and violating the Computer Crime Act.
Burin Intin, 28 a welder by trade was sentenced after pleading guilty to insulting the monarchy in two messages posted online, one in a comment to a video and another in a private chat on his Facebook with another person.
It was unclear how the authorities read the message, raising fears that they had found a way of intercepting such material that was not supposed to be public.
He was sentenced to 11 years and four months in prison, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights.
Burin was arrested on April 27 last year during the Resistant Citizen group’s “stand still” protest at Victory Monument.
He was among 16 protesters detained by police at the protest, which was staged to oppose arrests by the military of people accused of violating the Computer Crime Act in Bangkok and Khon Kaen.
He was handed over to the military and held at an undisclosed location before being brought before a military tribunal two days later to be charged with royal defamation.
During sentencing yesterday, the court initially commuted his term by half due to his confession.
However because he had been convicted for another crime less than five years ago the court increased his sentence by a third, which meant he will have to serve 11 years and four months in total.
Many critics in Thailand accuse the Military government of using the lese majeste law to intimidate and punish its critics and political foes. They also have concerns the Computer Crime Act serves the same purpose.