Blind Woman to Serve 1.5 Years in Prison for Defaming Monarchy

Campaigners demanding abolition of lese majeste law protest outside a court on Sept. 19, 2012. Image: Prachatai

YALA — A provincial court on Thursday sentenced a blind woman to one and a half years in prison for posting content which it found violated royal defamation laws.

Murhyatee Masoh, 23, an unemployed Thai-Malay Muslim from Yala province, was found guilty of violating Article 112 of the constitution in two separate Facebook posts in October 2016 through a voice-assisted application which reads text out loud. The woman, under arrest since November 2016, pleaded guilty.


“The court said they are sympathetic to her [because she’s blind] but said the law is the law,” assistant lawyer Kaosar Aleemama said Thursday afternoon by phone. She added that it was unclear as to who was the author of the defamatory content which Murhyatee lifted and subsequently posted.

The lawyer also said it was unclear as of press time whether Murhyatee would file an appeal. Violation of the lese majeste law carries a prison term of up to 15 years per offense.


Note: Some details have been omitted from this story due to fear of prosecution under the lese majeste law.