Thai man forced to psychiatric hospital over T-shirt motto

Thai man forced to psychiatric hospital over T-shirt motto


BANGKOK (AP) – A man who posted a photo online showing himself wearing a shirt with a motto questioning the traditional reverence for Thailand’s monarchy has been admitted against his will to a psychiatric hospital, drawing concern from human rights activists.

The legal basis for putting 45-year-old Tiwakorn Vithiton into the Khon Kaen Rajanagarindra Psychiatric Hospital in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen is not clear.

Tiwakorn caused a stir by posting pictures on his Facebook page of him wearing a T-shirt with the motto “I have lost all faith in the institution of monarchy.” Publicly criticizing the monarchy in Thailand is both socially taboo and legally risky.

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Cases where people are suspected of defaming the monarchy have traditionally been prosecuted under a lese majeste law that carries a punishment of 3 to 15 years in prison.

The law has long been abused for political purposes to silence dissidents, but in recent years the number of cases has declined

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