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  1. ITV Report

Man jailed for 30 years for insulting Thai monarchy on Facebook

A man who put up six Facebook posts insulting the Thai monarchy has been jailed for 30 years.

Pongsak Sriboonpeng, 48, was handed the toughest-known sentence under the country's royal defamation law, AFP reported.

Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej Credit: Reuters

He was sentenced to 10 years on each count with the 60-year jail term halved after he pleaded guilty, his lawyer Sasinan Thamnithinan said.

"It's broken the record," she said of the severe jail term.

Since the Thai military seized power in a coup last year, the number of prosecutions for royal defamation has risen from two to 56, rights groups say.

In April a 58-year-old businessman was jailed for 25 years for posting Facebook messages deemed to be defamatory to the monarchy.

A statement on the Human Rights Watch website says:

Thailand has been in a human rights crisis since the May 2014 military coup.

The junta has prosecuted hundreds of its critics in military courts, engaged in widespread censorship, blocked more than 200 websites, and banned public gatherings of more than five people.

Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha has repeatedly postponed elections while taking no serious steps to restore democratic processes.

– Human Rights Watch