3 influencers in Thailand were arrested for insulting the royal family in a video campaign posted on TikTok
- Three Thai influencers were arrested over videos that critics say insulted a
- The now-deleted clips were posted online in May as part of promotions for e-commerce firm Lazada.
Three Thai influencers have been arrested over a video campaign on TikTok that critics said insulted a member of
Per AFP, the now-deleted clips were posted online last month as part of promotions for Alibaba's e-commerce firm Lazada. They featured a woman dressed in a traditional Thai costume and seated in a wheelchair.
According to Reuters, monarchists said the woman was a veiled reference to a royal family member. However, per the outlet, the advert did not mention any royal family members, nor did it use the language used by the royal family.
On Thursday, Thai police confirmed to AFP that they had arrested the three influencers featured in the video campaign: Aniwat Prathumthin, Kittikhun Thamakitirat, and Thidaporn Chaokovieng.
All three have been charged under the country's lese-majeste law, which forbids insults against the monarchy and carries a prison term of up to 15 years, per AFP. The trio has denied the charges, AFP reported, citing their lawyer.
When the videos first surfaced last month, Aniwat said they were parodying a Thai soap opera and that the perceived royal insult was "all in your imagination," Reuters reported.
Lazada also issued a statement at the time, apologizing for the "emotional damage" the video had caused, per the outlet.
According to the BBC, critics of Thailand's royal insult law — among the strictest in the world — claim it is misused to suppress free speech.
In 2020, a 16-year-old boy was charged under the same law after he was accused of dressing similarly to Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn and displaying insulting words on his body. As Insider previously reported, the charges came after the boy was spotted at a protest wearing a tank top similar to the one the king is often seen wearing.
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