Skip to main content
Amnesty International UK
Log in

Thailand: 15-year-old detained for insulting the monarchy

© 2021 SOPA Images

Yok* called for country’s notorious lèse-majesté law to be scrapped during a protest

Approaching 2,000 people detained for taking part in protests since 2020

‘This development is yet one more unsettling reminder that the Thai authorities continue to target children’ - Chanatip Tatiyakaroonwong

Responding to the pre-trial detention of a 15-year-old girl in Bangkok accused of violating the country’s notorious lèse-majesté (insult to monarchy) laws after her participation in a peaceful protest last year, Chanatip Tatiyakaroonwong, Amnesty International’s Thailand researcher, said:

“This development is yet one more unsettling reminder that the Thai authorities continue to target children as they use the law on lèse-majesté to suppress peaceful dissent.

“This month alone saw at least four other protesters convicted of this and several new charges and indictments.  

“Recent cases demonstrate the dramatic shrinking of civic space for millions of people in Thailand, as the authorities increasingly refuse to tolerate peaceful dissent.

“Since late last year, peaceful protesters have been found guilty of lèse-majesté for merely exercising their right to freedom of expression in online posts, participating in mock fashion shows and, most recently, selling calendars online with drawings of yellow ducks, a symbol of the protest movement.  

The Thai authorities must drop all charges under laws inconsistent with international human rights law and standards. They must also refrain from arresting and holding peaceful protesters in pre-trial detention.”  

Not an isolated incident

Yok* is being held for calling for the lèse-majesté law to be scrapped during a peaceful protest on 14 October. Since unprecedented mass demonstrations broke out across Thailand in 2020, at least 1,895 people have been subject to a variety of criminal charges for their involvement in protests, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights. This includes at least 237 people, 18 of whom were children, charged with insulting the monarchy.  

Amnesty’s recent report We Are Reclaiming Our Future documents the Thai authorities’ arrest, prosecution, surveillance and intimidation of children for taking part in mass demonstrations.  

*Full name withheld for security reasons

View latest press releases