Thai airline’s April Fool’s Day tweet could lead to jail time for insulting king
Posted On April 6, 2022
A Thai airline could face criminal charges over an April Fool’s Day tweet that sparked a complaint to police about insulting the country’s king.
On April 1, Thai Vietjet posted a joke on its official Twitter account to say it was launching a new international route from the province of Nan in Thailand, to Munich in Germany.
But it could run afoul of Thailand’s strict laws about insulting the king, after an activist lawyer filed a police complaint, Reuters reported.
The complaint alleged the tweet – which has now been removed – had been intended as mockery.
While the tweet did not openly make the connection, Thailand’s current King Vajiralongkorn has a royal consort, Sineenat Wongvajiraphakdi, who was born in Nan – and the king himself is thought to take frequent trips to Germany.
The airline apologised for the tweet and said the staff involved had been suspended.
Queen’s special floods message
Police are now investigating the complaint and will decide whether to proceed with charges.
Anybody found guilty of defaming the king could face a jail term of up to 15 years.
Reuters reported 183 people have been penalised for the offence since 2020, when protests calling for democratic reform in the country kicked off.