Suspended jail term for student activist in S112 case

Suspended jail term for student activist in S112 case

Benja Apan makes a speech from a stage at a political rally in front of CentralWorld at the Ratchaprasong intersection on March 24, 2021. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Benja Apan makes a speech from a stage at a political rally in front of CentralWorld at the Ratchaprasong intersection on March 24, 2021. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Bangkok South Criminal Court on Monday sentenced a young woman studying at Thammasat University to two years and eight months in jail, suspended for two years, and fined her 8,000 baht on charges of insulting the monarchy and breaking the emergency law.

The case was brought by public prosecutors.

Benja Apan, a Thammsat University student, read out a statement against "capitalism, militarism and feudalism" issued by the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration at a rally in front of Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction Plc on Asoke road on Aug 10, 2021.

The content of the statement was deemed lese majeste.

Ms Benja was charged with violating Section 112 of the Criminal Code, the lese majeste law, and the emergency decree of 2005.

The court heard testimony from prosecution and defence witnesses, and on Monday judged her guilty as charged. She was sentenced three years in prison and fined 8,000 baht fine for lese majeste, and one year in prison and a fine of 12,000 baht for violating the emergency decree - four years in prison and 20,000 baht in fines fine in total. All sentences are consecutive.

Since Ms Benja is still studying for a bachelor's degree at university and had never previously been given a jail sentence, the penalties were commuted by one-third to two years and eight months in jail and a fine of 8,000 baht. The prison term was suspended for two years.

Fellow members of the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration gathered in front of the court in a show of support.

Ms Benja said she still had to fight eight other cases, all laid under Section 112. Meanwhile, she would concentrate on her studies. She had about one year to go for a degree, she said.

Do you like the content of this article?