Student activist Sirawith Seritiwat, an anti-coup activist, is detained by the police while demonstrating alone against a military-backed draft constitution in Bangkok, Thailand, May 1, 2016. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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Thai police have arrested a leading activist's mother for failing to condemn Facebook messages that criticized the monarchy, her legal team said Saturday, in a move a rights group described as an "outrageous twist" of the kingdom's royal insult law.Prosecutions under Thailand's royal defamation law -- known as lese majeste -- have surged since the generals seized power two years ago.Human rights lawyers said police took a step further Friday night by charging Patnaree Chankij, 40, for simply receiving messages that criticized the monarchy in a private Facebook chat.At least nine people have been detained in jail in the past two weeks for online criticism of the junta or monarchy -- including an activist who allegedly sent the messages to Patnaree.
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