Freedom of expression refers to the ability to express their beliefs, thoughts, ideas, and emotions about different issues, which are free from government censorship. It is considered as one of the basic fundamental human rights. The 2017 Constitution of Kingdom of Thailand approved this right in Article 34, which stated that "A person shall enjoy the liberty to express opinions, make speeches, write, print, publicize and express by other means. The restriction of such liberty shall not be imposed, except under the provisions of law specifically enacted to maintain the security of the State, protect the rights or liberties of other persons, maintaining public order or good morals, or protecting the health of the people."
Even though the Constitution is the highest hierarchy of source of law in Thailand, but the conflicts based on freedom of expression have arisen since the first Constitution. Many second-order laws were legislated in order to restrict fundamental human rights approved by the Constitution. Law enforcement nowadays is to limit such rights rather than protecting it as it is the highest hierarchy of law. One of the most famous second-order law that is unacknowledged worldwide is the lese majeste law. Section 112 of the Thai Penal Code is one of the most controversial topics to mention in Thailand. For anyone who does not have knowledge about Thai law, section 112 is the legal provision concerning lese majeste or in other words, the law concerning criminal defamation against the King, the Queen, the Heir to the Throne and, the Regent. This crime carries a punishment of up to 3 to 15 years of imprisonment.
Thailand is a constitutional monarchy, and the Thai Constitution explicitly stated that Thailand is a democracy. Section 112 of the Thai Penal Code has been used to defame many political opponents in Thai politics. The punishable sentence in section 112 is also disproportionate to the crime committed. When the defendant is found guilty of this crime, the court would have to rule at least three years of imprisonment for the case. This kind of sentence is very disproportionate compared to the general criminal defamation under section 326 of the Thai Penal code which stated the punishment as a fine not exceeding 20,000 baht or imprisonment not exceeding two years or both. Section 112 also discourage people to constructively criticized the institution of the monarchy, which led to a long-lasting problem about the power and structure of the monarchy itself. Moreover, Thailand is a party to international human rights treaties that promote and protect the fundamental rights to freedom of expression. Section 112 is a clear violation of the right to the freedom of speech in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For example,
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