In June, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha said King Vajiralongkorn has instructed the Thai government not to use Section 112 of the Criminal Code, or the lèse-majesté law, to prosecute civilians.
The law, which has been criticized by rights groups in the past, carries a jail term of up to 15 years in prison and forbids the insult of the monarch or his immediate family.
However, Prayut has changed his tune and last week said that the government is now prepared to escalate their response to ongoing pro-democracy protests, including enforcing all laws.
Student-led pro-democracy protests have taken place over the last five months and have called not only for the resignation of the military-backed Prayut Chan-ocha government but also a reformation of the previously venerated and untouchable royal institution.
Here is the list of the twelve protest leaders that are being prosecuted for the 112 violation:
- Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, UFTD’s co-founder
- Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, UFTD’s co-founder
- Panupong “Mike” Jaadnok, UFTD’s co-founder
- Anon Numpha, Ratsodon’s co-founder
- Patsaravalee “Mind” Tanakitvibulpon, a co-leader of the Mahanakorn for Democracy Group
- Chanin Wongsri, UFTD’s co-founder
- Jutatip “Oua” Sirikhan, former president of the Student Union of Thailand
- Piyarat “Toto” Chongthep, the leader of We Volunteer
- Tatthep “Ford” Ruangprapaikitseri, the leader of Free Youth
- Attapon Buapat, a co-leader of Khon Kaen Had Enough
- Chukiat “Justin” Saengwong, Ratsodon’s co-leader
- Sombat Thongyoi, one of Ratsadon’s guard leaders