Thai police to charge protest leaders with royal insult

BANGKOK: Thai police have summoned seven leaders of anti-government protests to face charges of lese majeste over comments made at demonstrations that demanded reforms to the monarchy, a police source and a rights group said on Tuesday.

It will be the first time such charges have been brought under so-called lese majeste laws relating to insults to the royal family in more than two years. They can carry up to 15 years in prison.

Protests that began in July against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha have increasingly turned to demands to curb the powers of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, breaking a longstanding taboo on criticising the monarchy.

The police source, who declined to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said the protest leaders had until Nov. 30 to answer the summonses, which were brought over comments made at protests on Sept. 19 and 20. - Reuters