World

Thai university student sentenced to prison for defaming king on Facebook

  • FILE - In this Sept. 15, 2014 file photo, a Thai woman holds a portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok where the Thai king received medical checkups before returning to his seaside palace. A Thai court sentenced a university student to 2 1/2 years in prison on Tuesday, Nov. 4 for posting a message on Facebook that the court said insulted the country's king. A Criminal Court judge found 24-year-old Akkaradet Eiamsuwan guilty of violating Thailand's lese majeste law, which punishes people who defame, insult or threaten the monarchy.  (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 15, 2014 file photo, a Thai woman holds a portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok where the Thai king received medical checkups before returning to his seaside palace. A Thai court sentenced a university student to 2 1/2 years in prison on Tuesday, Nov. 4 for posting a message on Facebook that the court said insulted the country's king. A Criminal Court judge found 24-year-old Akkaradet Eiamsuwan guilty of violating Thailand's lese majeste law, which punishes people who defame, insult or threaten the monarchy. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2014 file photo, Thais pray at Siriraj Hospital where King Bhumibol Adulyadej is being treated in Bangkok when the 86-year-old king underwent surgery to have his gallbladder removed. A Thai court sentenced a university student to 2 1/2 years in prison on Tuesday, Nov. 4 for posting a message on Facebook that the court said insulted the country's king. A Criminal Court judge found 24-year-old Akkaradet Eiamsuwan guilty of violating Thailand's lese majeste law, which punishes people who defame, insult or threaten the monarchy. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit, File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2014 file photo, Thais pray at Siriraj Hospital where King Bhumibol Adulyadej is being treated in Bangkok when the 86-year-old king underwent surgery to have his gallbladder removed. A Thai court sentenced a university student to 2 1/2 years in prison on Tuesday, Nov. 4 for posting a message on Facebook that the court said insulted the country's king. A Criminal Court judge found 24-year-old Akkaradet Eiamsuwan guilty of violating Thailand's lese majeste law, which punishes people who defame, insult or threaten the monarchy. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit, File)  (The Associated Press)

A Thai court has sentenced a university student to 2 1/2 years in prison for posting a message on Facebook that the court found to have insulted the country's king.

A Criminal Court judge on Tuesday found 24-year-old Akkaradet Eiamsuwan guilty of violating Thailand's lese majeste law, which punishes anyone who defames, insults or threatens the monarchy.

The ruling said that Akkaradet used an alias to post the offensive message on Facebook in March.

The court said it reduced the original sentence of five years' imprisonment to 2 1/2 years because the defendant confessed to the offense.

He was arrested in Bangkok in June and has been in jail since.

Thailand's lese majeste law is the world's harshest, calling for a jail term of three to 15 years.