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Thailand sentences editor to jail for royal insult

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January 22, 2013 11:45 PM EST | AP


BANGKOK — A court in Thailand has sentenced a prominent labor rights activist and magazine editor to 10 years in prison for publishing two articles prosecutors said defamed the monarchy.

The articles were published under pseudonyms in Somyot Pruksakasemsuk's now-defunct Voice of Taksin magazine in 2010. The Bangkok court issued the verdict Wednesday.

International and Thai rights groups had long called for Somyot's release while courts denied a dozen bail requests, fearing he would flee.

Thailand's so-called lese majeste laws, designed to protect the monarchy, are believed to be the harshest of their kind in the world.

Three to 15 years in jail is the mandatory sentence for those convicted of the crime.