BANGKOK, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- An activist who has staged protests against Thailand's military junta was arrested Saturday for violating the country's strict laws against insulting the monarchy.
Jatupat Boonpattararaksa was arrested by Thai police and charged under the country's lese-majeste law, which prohibits citizens from making remarks defamatory of the royal family.
Violators are subject to 15 years in prison, or longer in some recent cases.
The BBC reported Jatupat was targeted because he shared a Thai-language Facebook profile of the newly seated King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who ascended to the throne Thursday, two months after the death of his father, the revered longtime King Buhmibol Adulyadej, who died in October.
Activists told the Times of Oman the Facebook profile Jatupat is accused of disseminating has been widely viewed in Thailand, leaving open the question of whether the ruling junta used the lese-majeste law as an excuse to jail a political critic.
As opposed to his father who was widely respected in Thai society, Maha, 64, has proven a more controversial figure. His stormy romantic relationships and mercurial public persona have fueled speculation about his private life for years. Prior to becoming king, Maha largely lived outside Thailand, in several residences across Europe.
Lawyers for Jatupat said his arrest with the first for insulting the monarchy since Maha became king.