Thai airline faces possible criminal charges for April Fool’s Day joke that allegedly insulted Thai king

Budget airline Thai VietJet is facing possible criminal charges and prison time for an April Fool’s Day Tweet that reportedly insulted the Thai king, in violation of the law.

Lese majeste laws, which make insulting royal families illegal in many monarchies around the globe, are the law of the land in Thailand. The Thai king, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, has been widely criticized by his people for spending much of his time in Europe and not in Thailand.

On April Fool’s Day, Thai Viet Jet Tweeted it was announcing a new “flight route between a province in Thailand and a city in Europe,” which led to widespread public reactions. The offending Tweet was quickly removed and the airline issued an apology statement the following day.

The airline claimed senior management had been unaware of the prank, and the company had no intention of insulting the Thai king. “I would like to apologize to the Thai people once again for such incident,” said airline CEO Woranate Laprabang.

Lawyer and activist Srisuwan Janya says the apology is not enough and the lawsuit will proceed. Lese majeste law in Thailand makes it punishable by law to defame royals, and could carry a punishment of up to 15 years in prison.




The following two tabs change content below.
Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

Leave a Reply