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Twenty-six IFEX members protest against lese majeste charges

RSF

Suwicha Thakor is currently serving a 10-year jail sentence for posting a video of the King on the Internet. The father of three told Reporters Without Borders (RSF) from prison, "I am not a problem for the country or its security. I am in prison for nothing."

RSF and 31 other human rights, press freedom and journalists' organisations, including 25 IFEX members, have issued a joint appeal to the Thai government to ensure that no one ever goes to jail for lese majeste - insulting the monarchy.

Thailand's lese majeste charge, which can be brought against anyone who defames, insults or threatens the King or royal family, is among the most severe in the world, carrying a possible three- to 15-year prison term.

According to RSF, the lese majeste law had not been used since 1991, but since a new government took over last December, the authorities have charged at least 10 people for lese majeste and blocked access to more than 50,000 websites critical of the monarchy.

"We see the current trend of multiple prosecutions for the same offences intended to stifle commentary, opinion and dissent," says the joint statement.

The groups are urging the authorities to decriminalise lese majeste, and at least work with local free speech organisations for a moratorium on lese majeste convictions.

You too, can add your name to the appeal. Sign it here: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=30935

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