Prominent Thai Lawyer and Activist Arnon Nampa Sentenced to 4 Years Under Controversial Lese-Majeste Law
2 October 2023

Prominent Thai Lawyer and Activist Arnon Nampa Sentenced to 4 Years Under Controversial Lese-Majeste Law

Thailand

Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L) is deeply concerned about the recent developments in the case surrounding the prominent Thai activist and human rights lawyer, Arnon Nampa. On 26 September 2023, Arnon Nampa was sentenced to 4 years in prison under Thailand’s controversial lese-majeste law, which criminalizes insults to the monarchy and carries harsh penalties.

Arnon Nampa’s conviction stems from remarks he made during a protest in October 2020, where he called for a public debate on the role of the monarchy in Thailand. This move by Arnon, who had been a leading figure in the 2020 protests demanding political and royal reforms, marked a significant moment in Thailand’s recent history.

Nampa’s verdict has again renewed debate about the lese-majeste law and its implications for freedom of expression in Thailand. The lese-majeste law is Article 112 of the Thai criminal code and can be used to criminalize almost any comment about the monarchy or the royal family, thus stifling dissent and discouraging open discussions about the monarchy’s role in the country. Subsequently, since the 2020 protests, at least 257 people have been charged with lese-majeste, according to the advocacy group Thai Lawyers for Human Rights.

As for Arnon Nampa, his legal battles are not over yet as his lawyer has indicated that they will appeal the recent conviction, and they are actively seeking his release on bail. Therefore, L4L remains committed to monitoring Arnon Nampa‘s case closely, and we will continue to advocate for the protection of human rights and freedom of expression of lawyers in Thailand.

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