8 charged in Thailand’s latest case of insulting monarchy

Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, editor of "Voice of the Oppressed", a magazine devoted to self-exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, gestures as he walks near a prison cell at the criminal court in Bangkok January 23, 2013. Somyot was jailed for 10 years for insulting the royal family under the country's draconian lese-majeste law.Reuters

A legal aid group in Thailand says at least eight people have been charged with insulting the monarchy for allegedly burning portraits of members of the royal family.

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights says the suspects were first arrested in May and faced multiple charges for vandalizing portraits of Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and his son and successor King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun.

More – Thai King ‘wants no lese majeste punishments’

The suspects were not initially charged with lese majeste, as the offense is known, because police said their investigations found that the actions were more likely driven by personal conflicts or for local benefits.

The group, which includes a 14-year-old, were held for 48 days before being released without charge. They were re-arrested and charged Wednesday with lese majeste. – AP

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