Prawet Prapanukul, a Thai human rights lawyer could be jailed up to 150 years in prison after he was charged with a record 10 counts of royal defamation, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights said.
The 57-year-old who is a well- known critic of the law was said to have provided legal assistance to members of a political opposition group, the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, and served as legal counsel in a high-profile royal insult case.
Appearing at a Bangkok court on Wednesday after his arrest over the weekend, he was charged with 10 counts of royal insult and three counts of breaking Section 116 of Thailand’s criminal code, the equivalent of sedition.
Speaking to Reuters, Anon Nampha of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights said: ‘Prawet faces 10 counts of breaking Article 112, so that works out to up to 150 years in prison if he is found guilty,’ adding that ‘He also faces three separate charges of breaking Article 116 which carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison for each offence.’
Although, it’s yet unclear what the accused must have written or said since the authorities refused to disclose details about the charges against him, but a spokesperson from International Commission of Jurists, Mr.Kingsley Abbott criticized the authority’s action saying:
‘Imprisonment is never a proportionate penalty for the exercise of free expression, let alone the unthinkable possibility of 150 years.’