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25-year-old man arrested in Thailand for spray painting on Bangkok’s Grand Palace

This sparked a rallying cry through copycat painters

LiFTED | Sabiq Rafid | 4 Apr 2023

Earlier this week, a 25-year-old man was arrested in Bangkok for spraying symbols on the walls of the Bangkok Grand Palace. Since 1782, the Grand Palace has been the official residence of all the Kings of Thailand. At the present time, however, the Royal Family is residing in the Chitralada Palace. Despite that, the Grand Palace is still used for ceremonial purposes due to its prominence.

Thailand also has a lese-majesty law, which could imprison an individual for up to 15 years for “defaming, insulting, or threatening” the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent, or the Regent to the throne. This law falls under Section 112 of Thailand’s Criminal Code, which is one of the symbols the 25-year-old man seemingly spray-painted prior to being arrested.

He painted an anarchy sign, the number 112, which is crossed out, and an unfinished tag, which seems to start with the letter P. The arrest sparked an outrage within Thailand, which prompted a response by Thalugaz, a democratic group in Thailand.

The group tweeted a series of photos of graffiti replicating the three symbols that got the man arrested – the letter “P”, an anarchy sign, and a crossed out “112”. It came with a caption in Thai, which loosely translates to: “You can delete it, but we can spray it again.” As the saying goes, you can imprison an individual, but not an idea.