Four people were arrested yesterday evening after they allegedly posted signs calling for abolishment of the lese majeste law at a store owned by a Thai princess.
Amid a wider debate over the role of the monarchy, the group of four were arrested at around 6pm and taken to the Pathumwan Police Station after they stuck two small placards reading, “Reform does not mean overthrow” and “Abolish 112,” on the glass doors of Sirivannavari, a clothing store at the Siam Paragon shopping mall. The flagship store is owned by Princess Sirivannavari, daughter of King Vajiralongkorn.
The four, who were unidentified, were released after one paid a THB2,000 for violating the Cleanliness Act, according to the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights. The two signs were seized by police.
The incident came only a day after the Constitutional Court ruled that three prominent activists of the pro-democracy movement intended to “overthrow” the monarchy. Shortly after the verdict, #ReformDoesNotMeanOverthrow was a trending hashtag on Twitter in Thailand.
On Wednesday, Thai diplomats in Geneva defended Thailand’s royal insult law, which has been used to prosecute more than 150 people since protests erupted against the government and monarchy over a year ago.
A number of nations including Belgium, France, Switzerland and Germany – where the king has reportedly returned – petitioned Thailand to reconsider the law.
Thai foreign ministry reps responded that the law “protected” the king and was therefore essential to national security.