Asia

Police arrest Thai activist for Facebook 'share' about new king

Thai police have arrested a student pro-democracy activist for sharing a story about the country's new king that was posted on Facebook by the Thai-language service of the BBC.

Duangthip Karith of the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights said that law student Jatupat "Pai" Boonpattararaksa was arrested Saturday on a charge of lese majeste — insulting the monarchy — in the northeastern province of Chaiyaphum.

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The BBC Thai story was a profile of King Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, who took the throne on Thursday, succeeding his late father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The arrest was apparently the first under the lese majeste law since Vajiralongkorn became king. Critics of the law, which carries a penalty of three to 15 years in prison, say it is used to silence political dissidents.