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Rights groups urge release of Thailand activists held for lese majeste

Published on Aug 18, 2014 8:29 PM

BANGKOK (AFP) - Rights groups on Monday called for the immediate release of two activists charged with breaching Thailand's strict royal defamation laws during a university play.

The pair - named only as Patiwat, 23, and Pornthip, 25 - were arrested separately last week over their roles in an October 2013 play at Bangkok's Thammasat University to commemorate the 40th anniversary of a student-led uprising.

"They were charged with lese majeste for acting in the 'Wolf's Bride' play," Mr Tanathorn Tananont of the Human Rights Lawyers Association told AFP. "Police said the script was not appropriate," he said, declining to give further details of how they are alleged to have breached the royal insult law.

Patiwat, who is a student, was arrested on Friday at an army camp in the north-eastern province of Khon Kaen, while Pornthip was taken into custody a day later at Hat Yai in Thailand's south.

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