Thai Students Jailed for Royals Insult

Two Thai students were sentenced Monday to two years and six months in prison for insulting the monarchy during the performance of a play in 2013. Patiwat Saraiyaem, 23, and Pornthip Munkong, 26, pleaded guilty to breaking Thailand’s harsh lese majeste laws, which prohibit anyone from defaming or insulting the monarchy. The pair were accused of violating the law in October 2013 in the production of The Wolf Bride, a play that focused on a ficitional monarch and marked the 40th anniversary of pro-democracy protest at Bangkok’s Thammasat University. Both students had been jailed since August and were repeatedly denied bail as the military junta continues a crackdown on dissenters and lese majeste violations. The students pleaded guilty in December and a lawyer for both said they were not likely to appeal.