The Straits Times
Published on Jan 17, 2013

Comedian jailed for 2 years for insulting Thai royals


BANGKOK (AFP) - A Thai court sentenced a comedian and renowned "Red Shirt" supporter to two years in jail on Thursday for insulting the kingdom's revered monarchy during a speech at a mass rally in 2010, his lawyer said.

Yosawaris Chuklom, 54, who goes by the stage name Jeng Dokchik, was found guilty under Thailand's strict lese majeste law, which punishes anyone convicted of defaming the Thai king, queen, heir or regent with up to 15 years in prison.

The comedian, who is also facing separate terrorism charges for his role in the 2010 Red Shirt street protests in Bangkok, which ended in the deaths of scores of people, is applying for bail while he appeals the verdict, his lawyer Thamrong Lakdaen said.

"Initially he was sentenced to three years but the judge reduced the sentence to two because of the evidence he gave," he told AFP.