Asia

Thailand: 'No exceptions' on lese majeste for news outlets

  • The Thai offices of the BBC are locked and unoccupied with their signage removed in central Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. Thailand's defense minister says the government will not back down from prosecuting news outlets that publish "illegal" content, following scrutiny of the BBC's bureau in Bangkok for an article about the country's new king. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

    The Thai offices of the BBC are locked and unoccupied with their signage removed in central Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. Thailand's defense minister says the government will not back down from prosecuting news outlets that publish "illegal" content, following scrutiny of the BBC's bureau in Bangkok for an article about the country's new king. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)  (The Associated Press)

  • The Thai offices of the BBC locked and unoccupied with their signage removed in central Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. Thailand's defense minister says the government will not back down from prosecuting news outlets that publish "illegal" content, following scrutiny of the BBC's bureau in Bangkok for an article about the country's new king. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

    The Thai offices of the BBC locked and unoccupied with their signage removed in central Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. Thailand's defense minister says the government will not back down from prosecuting news outlets that publish "illegal" content, following scrutiny of the BBC's bureau in Bangkok for an article about the country's new king. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)  (The Associated Press)

Thailand's defense minister says the government will not back down from prosecuting news outlets that publish "illegal" content, following scrutiny of the BBC's bureau in Bangkok for an article about the country's new king.

BBC's Thai-language service, a relative newcomer, caused a stir among Thais when it published an article on its website on King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun's personal life when he was crown prince.

Defense minister Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters Wednesday that "whatever is illegal will be processed accordingly, no exceptions."

The king is protected by strict lese majeste laws against insulting the monarchy, which carries a penalty of three to 15 years in prison.

Since the article's publication, BBC's office in Thailand has received multiple visits from the Thai army and police.