Asia

Thai activist arrested for sharing king's profile on Facebook

Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, Thai activist, 3 December 2016 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Jatupat Boonpattararaksa was arrested in the north-east

An opponent of Thailand's military-backed government has been arrested after sharing a profile of newly installed King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

Jatupat Boonpattararaksa was detained in north-eastern Thailand and charged with insulting the monarchy under the strict royal defamation law.

He had shared the profile, published by BBC Thai, on his Facebook page.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn ascended the throne on Thursday nearly two months after the death of his father.

Mr Jatupat is thought to be the first person charged with lese-majeste since King Vajiralongkorn, 64, officially became monarch.

The activist, who has been involved in anti-government protests in the past, was arrested in Chaiyaphum province. Charges were filed in the city of Khon Kaen.

Mr Jatupat could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

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Human rights groups accuse the military-backed government of using the royal defamation law as a way of cracking down on opponents.

King Vajiralongkorn's father, the revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, died on 13 October at the age of 88 after seven decades on the throne.

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