BANGKOK - An activist in Thailand has been jailed for two years after a court found she insulted the monarchy by dressing like the Thai queen.

Jatuporn ‘New’ Saeoueng, 25, wore a pink dress at a political demonstration in Bangkok in 2020. She denied the royal insult charge, saying she had just worn a traditional dress. But Thailand has notoriously strict laws which effectively ban criticism of the king and other royals.

Since King Maha Vajiralongkorn ascended the throne in 2019, rights groups say authorities have increasingly exercised lèse-majesté laws to quash a protest movement that had demanded reform of the powerful monarchy.

Since November 2020, at least 210 protesters have been charged with lèse-majesté offences, after a three-year period where the law wasn’t enforced at all, Thai legal groups say.