Thai Red Shirt gets jail term for anti-king speech

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Associated Press

Posted on January 17, 2013 at 1:05 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 17 at 2:04 AM

BANGKOK (AP) — A Thai court has sentenced a leader of the Red Shirt political movement to two years in prison for a speech judged to have insulted the country's monarchy.

The court ruled Thursday that 54-year-old Yoswarit Chuklom made a speech insulting the monarchy at a political rally in 2010. The Red Shirts took to the streets in 2010 in political protests that ended with deadly clashes with the military.

Yoswarit was one of the group's leaders. He is currently an advisor to a Cabinet minister.

Yoswarit has requested bail and intends to appeal.

Thailand's lese majeste law has been criticized as a violation of free speech. It mandates a jail term up to 15 years for anyone who "defames, insults, or threatens the king, the queen, the heir-apparent, or the regent."

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