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Thai man gets nine years in prison for anti-monarchy Facebook post

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Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej leaves the Siriraj Hospital for a ceremony at the Grand Palace in BangkokBangkok (dpa) – A Thai man was sentenced to nine years in prison on Wednesday for posting anti-monarchy messages on Facebook, his lawyer said.

“The Criminal Court sentenced him to nine years in prison, but reduced it to six years for providing useful testimony,” said the defendant’s lawyer Sasinan Thamnithinan.

Piya Jullakittiphan, 46, was convicted by the court of using an alias to post defamatory statements about King Bhumibol Adulyadej (pic).

Sasinan said her client denied the charges, saying that someone else had impersonated him to get him in trouble.

According to the lawyer, her client was still debating filing an appeal.

Thailand has some of the world’s strictest lese-majesty laws, which prohibit any slighting of King Bhumibol and his heir apparent.

Critics say the country’s lese-majesty legislation is often abused to advance political and personal agendas and vendettas.

Bhumibol is the world’s longest-reigning monarch. He is revered in Thailand, where he is seen as a unifying figure.

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