King critic wins award

New Straits Times - - World -

SEOUL: A Thai law stu­dent ar­rested for shar­ing a crit­i­cal ar­ti­cle about his king that was posted on Face­book is this year’s win­ner of South Korea’s most pres­ti­gious hu­man rights award.

Or­gan­is­ers for the Gwangju Prize for Hu­man Rights Award said the par­ents of Jatu­pat “Pai Dao Din” Boon­pat­tararaksa would re­ceive the award on his be­half.

Po­lice in Thai­land ar­rested Jatu­pat in De­cem­ber for shar­ing a crit­i­cal pro­file about King Maha Va­ji­ra­longkorn Bod in­dra de bay a va rang ku nan that was posted on Face­book by the Thai-lan­guages er vice of the BBC.

Un­der Thai law, in­sult­ing the monar­chy is a crime that car­ries a prison term of three to 15 years. Crit­ics say the coun­try uses the law to si­lence po­lit­i­cal dis­si­dents.

Jatu­pat, who was in­dicted in Fe­bru­ary and has been de­nied bail sev­eral times, is a mem­ber of Dao Din, a stu­dent or­gan­i­sa­tion that has protested against Thai­land’s mil­i­tary govern­ment.

The May 18 Me­mo­rial Foun­da­tion, which or­gan­ises the Gwangju Prize, said Jatu­pat’s “strength, courage and in­domitable strug­gle” showed he is “will­ing to sac­ri­fice his safety and fu­ture to pro­tect democ­racy.” AP

PIC AP

Jatu­pat Boon­pat­tararaksa (right) with his fa­ther in Bangkok.

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