A woman accused of insulting the kooky crown prince of Thailand was publicly humiliated and forced to grovel beneath a portrait of the country’s late king, according to reports Monday.
Police officers dragged Umaporn Sarasat, 43, to the portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej outside a police station and forced her to kneel before it Sunday — as 500 onlookers shouted wildly, according to a videoposted by the Times of London.
A line of police officers linked arms to stop a mob of angry people from spilling onto the steps of the police station on Koh Samui island, The UK Guardian reported.
Sarasat stands accused of posting an internet comment that mocked crown prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, a royal playboy, who sports fake tattoos, has been married three times, and once named his poodle, Foo Foo, official air marshal.
Vajiralongkorn is set to claim the throne in the wake of his father the king’s death last week but has been met with criticism, even in his home country, where residents who mock royalty are sometimes thrown in jail.
Sarasat — who now faces 15 years in prison — allegedly insulted the prince on Facebook. She was also critical of Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda, who is serving as a regent until the prince takes the throne, a local district police commander told the Times of London.
“We are going to proceed with the case as best we can. I understand your feelings,” Major Thewes Pleumsud, a law enforcement official, told the crowd.
Umaporn was charged with insulting the monarchy. She didn’t insult the late king, the paper reported.
Vajiralongkorn is a controversial figure in Thailand. He racked up a massive gambling debt and sometimes appears in flamboyant outfits, midriff exposed.
Millions of Thais are in mourning over the late king, who died Thursday in Bangkok.