On Thailand Lèse-Majesté Law

18 OCTOBER 2018

A lighter royal touch for Thailand

Use of the kingdom’s draconian lese majeste law has greatly diminished under new King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s young reign

30 JANUARY 2018

Thai student activist flees to avoid lese majeste charge

A student activist has become the latest political dissident to flee Thailand, explaining on her Facebook page that she made a snap decision to leave after learning she had been charged with insulting the monarchy because she shared a BBC article about the country’s new king

15 AUGUST 2017

Thai activist jailed for more than two years after posting anti-royal BBC article on Facebook

A Thai student activist has been jailed for more than two years for posting a BBC article deemed offensive to Thailand’s King on Facebook, his lawyer said

9 AUGUST 2017

Thailand sentences man to 18 years in prison for insulting monarchy

A Thai man was jailed for 18 years for posting six video clips deemed insulting to the monarchy, the latest conviction in junta-ruled Thailand where authorities have cracked down on critics of the monarchy and military

29 JULY 2017

Thailand: Critics say royal family law is stifling dissent

Thailand’s military government is increasing efforts to stop people insulting or criticising the royal family

19 JUNE 2017

 Thailand lese-majeste: UN urges amendment to law

 The United Nations has called on Thailand to amend its harsh law against insulting the monarchy. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said it was deeply troubled by the high rate of prosecutions, and the disproportionate sentences for the offence

9 JUNE 2017

Thai man jailed 35 years for insulting monarchy on Facebook

A Thai court has sentenced a 34-year-old man to 35 years in prison for insulting the monarchy on Facebook in what is one of the heaviest punishments ever handed down for breaking the kingdom’s tough lese majeste laws

6 JUNE 2017

Thai woman jailed 7 years for insulting royalty

Monta “Ying Kai” Yokrattanakan, whose trial on multiple charges including human trafficking is just beginning, was sentenced to seven years and six months in jail for lese majeste on Tuesday

13 APRIL 2017

Thailand bans online contact with three critics of regime

A letter from the digital economy and society ministry warned citizens that engaging on the internet with the Thai academics Somsak Jeamteerasakul and Pavin Chachavalpongpun as well as the journalist Andrew MacGregor Marshall could violate the law

3 MARCH 2017

Thailand jails former palace aide for royal defamation

A former Thai palace medical adviser was jailed for five and a half years for insulting the monarchy and other charges on Friday, a day after another disgraced aide to the new king was charged in a separate case


UN slams Thailand for first royal slur charge under new king

The first royal defamation case brought under Thailand’s new monarch was slammed by a top United Nations envoy on Tuesday, who said public figures should not be above scrutiny or criticism

28 JANUARY 2017

Thailand: Man sentenced to 11 years in jail for royal defamation, cyber crime

A military court sentenced a man to over 11 years in jail on Friday for royal defamation nine months after he was arrested for protesting other activists’ arrests


Thai activist ‘first to be arrested for royal insult’ under new king

Thai police arrested an anti-junta activist on Saturday for defaming the monarchy in what rights groups said was the first case of lese-majeste brought under Thailand’s new king

22 OCTOBER 2016

Thailand presses Google over online royal insults

Google has agreed to co-operate with the removal of online content insulting Thailand’s monarchy, the country’s deputy prime minister says

27 AUGUST 2016

Three Thai royal insult prisoners freed after pardon

Three Thai women convicted of insulting the monarchy were released from jail Saturday after receiving royal pardons, a human rights lawyer said, following years spent behind bars for violating the draconian law

1st AUGUST 2016

Thai activist’s mother charged with insulting the monarchy for one word

The mother of a prominent student activist was indicted by a Thai military court on royal defamation charges on Monday over a one-word Facebook message in what rights groups have described as a new low for the junta’s crackdown on dissent

1 JUNE 2016

Thai singer Tom Dundee jailed for offending monarchy

A Thai country singer who takes his nickname from Australia’s Crocodile Dundee has been jailed for seven years for insulting the monarchy


Police Probe US Ambassador for Defaming Monarchy

U.S. Ambassador Glyn Davies is under investigation for critical comments he made about Thailand’s harsh law against defaming the monarchy, known as lese majeste

22 OCTOBER 2015

Trio confess to lese majeste charges in Thailand

Three well-known figures arrested over lese majeste charges have confessed to violating Article 112 of the Penal Code, the national police chief said yesterday

20 OCTOBER 2015

Woman acquitted of lese majeste in historic case

The case is the first ever in which a defendant of such grave charges fought to the end. In other similar cases, defendants have been advised to plead guilty so the penalties are halved

7 AUGUST 2015

Thai courts hand down record sentences for royal insults

Thai military courts on Friday jailed two people, one for 30 years and the other for 28 years, for insulting the monarchy, the heaviest sentences for the crime in the country’s history

21 JULY 2015

The folly of hunting lese majeste fugitives abroad

 The military government is busy squandering what is left of its international credibility by hunting lese majeste suspects who have fled overseas. The move can do nothing to improve Thailand’s reputation, only further tarnish its record on human rights

29 MAY 2015

Thai Army Chief Files Lese Majeste Against Thaksin

The commander of the Thai Army has charged former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra with lese majeste for allegedly defaming the monarchy in a recent interview with a foreign news agency

31 MARCH 2015

Thai man jailed for 25 years over royal insult posts on Facebook

A Thai military court on Tuesday jailed a man for 25 years for posting pictures on his Facebook page deemed insulting to Thailand’s monarchy, in one of the toughest such sentences in recent years

27 FEBRUARY 2015

Parents of Thai ex-princess arrested for lese majeste

The parents of a former Thai princess have been detained under the lese majeste law, the strict defamation rules that protect the royal family

23 FEBRUARY 2015

Thai pair jailed for insulting monarchy in student play

A Thai court has sentenced a man and a woman to two years and six months in jail each for “damaging the monarchy”.

29 DECEMBER 2014

Two Thais Plead Guilty to Insulting Monarchy in Play

Two Thais accused of defaming the monarchy in a university play pleaded guilty on Monday amid an intensifying junta crackdown on perceived royal slurs under the kingdom’s controversial lese majeste law.

18 NOVEMBER 2014

Thai radio host jailed for five years for royal defamation

A Thai radio show host has been jailed for five years for royal defamation, his lawyer said Tuesday, one of the first sentences passed by a military court for breaching the draconian law since a May coup.

13 NOVEMBER 2014

Thai police ban book criticizing monarchy

Thai police have banned imports of a book they view as insulting the country’s monarchy, as a crackdown against anti-royalist campaigns intensifies after a coup earlier this year.


Thailand’s lese majeste complaints top 10,000

Police have dealt with more than 10,000 cases of lese majeste in recent years, but the big figure was not because they had “got serious” with offenders after the coup in May, a senior police officer said yesterday

19 OCTOBER 2014

82-year-old Thai intellectual faces anti-monarchy charge

One of Thailand’s most prominent intellectuals is the target of a criminal complaint for comments he made about a Thai king who died more than 400 years ago.


Tensions rise as Thai curbs on royal slurs tighten

These are tense times for anyone vaguely seen to be questioning the Thai monarchy. After a spate of arrests and indictments for violation of the kingdom’s lese majeste law, the post-coup government has declared defending the monarchy as its top priority

31 AUGUST 2014

Thailand’s ultra-monarchists export vigilante justice

The Thai junta has launched more than a dozen domestic lèse-majesté prosecutions – each punishable by up to 15 years in jail – as part of a crackdown on political dissent since its May 22 coup.

8 AUGUST 2014

NCPO to seek extradition of lese majeste suspects

The ruling junta will seek the extradition of Thais living overseas for allegedly offending the monarchy, General Prayuth Chan-ocha said

1 AUGUST 2014

Thai musician jailed for 15 years for insulting royals

The 28-year-old was found guilty of posting insulting messages about the monarchy on Facebook between 2010 and 2011, said a court official from the northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani, without giving further details

13 MAY 2014

Ex-Pheu Thai MP accused of lese majeste

The Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) has filed a complaint with police accusing former Pheu Thai MP and red-shirt core member Prasit Chaisrisa of lese majeste


1 MAY 2014

Appeals Court upholds lese majeste sentence

The Appeals Court yesterday upheld a two-year lese majeste prison sentence against Jeng Dokjik for his speech during a red-shirt rally on March 29, 2010


30 APRIL 2014

Thailand’s Political Prisoners

Draconian lese majeste law used against dissenters


28 DECEMBER 2013

Lèse majesté and the media in the crossfire


3 OCTOBER 2013

Thai monarchy laws need reviewing, say critics pointing to recent cases

A political activist convicted of defaming the Thai monarchy was freed from prison after being granted a royal pardon in the same week that two others were jailed for similar offences despite their cases previously being dismissed by a criminal court.


Thai activist convicted of defaming king pardoned

Surachai Danwattananusorn was sentenced last year to 7 1/2 years in prison for making speeches judged to have insulted the monarchy three times in 2010.


2 OCTOBER 2013

Thai woman jailed for five years for insulting royals

A Thai court on Wednesday sentenced a woman to five years in jail for breaching the kingdom’s strict royal defamation laws in the the second such conviction in days.


1 OCTOBER 2013

Ex-yellow shirt leader Sondhi found guilty of insulting Thai monarchy

The Appeals Court on Tuesday sentenced Sondhi Limthongkul, a core member of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, to three years imprisonment after finding him guilty of lese majest, reversing the lower court’s decision which acquitted him of the charge.




Thai court acquits man accused of defaming king

A Thai court on Friday acquitted a man whose own brother accused him of defaming the country’s monarch, an extraordinarily grave charge in this Southeast Asian kingdom that is punishable by up to 15 years in jail.



4 JUNE 2013

Singaporean who defamed Thai king gets pardon

A Singaporean man convicted of defaming Thailand’s monarchy has been released from jail after receiving a royal pardon from the king.


15 APRIL 2013

A Thai Lese Majeste Victim Talks

Safe in Los Angeles, Joe Gordon carries on his campaign against a draconian law                                                           http://asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5338&Itemid=185

17 MARCH 2013

Thai PBS team halts programme on monarchy

The production team behind a controversial Thai PBS talk show announced yesterday that it would stop producing the programme to protest the public television station’s decision not to air Friday night’s episode.                                                          http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Thai-PBS-team-halts-programme-on-monarchy-30202101.html


Thailand’s Lese Majeste Erodes the Judiciary

Thailand’s repeated use of its draconian lese majeste and computer crimes laws to “protect” its monarchy is also causing serious damage to its judicial system.                                                                                                                                                                              http://asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5166&Itemid=392


‘Monarchy protection network’ protests EU concern about ‘Somyot’

Jan 31 – A group of protesters calling themselves the Network for Protection of the Monarchy gathered in front of the office of the European Union Delegation to Thailand on Thursday morning, saying that they want to “lecture” the EU, explaining that the status of the Thai monarchy is special and not like that in European countries.                                                                                                      http://prachatai.com/english/node/3504

23 January 2013

Journalist gets 10-year prison sentence for insulting Thai king

Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, who was editor of a magazine devoted to self-exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, was found guilty of publishing articles in 2010 defaming King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The government later shut down the magazine, called Voice of Taksin, or “voice of the oppressed.”                                                                                                                               http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/23/16656578-journalist-gets-10-year-prison-sentence-for-insulting-thai-king?lite

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/23/thailand-jails-magazine-editor-somyot-prueksakasemsuk                                                                                                                                                              http://asiancorrespondent.com/96065/inside-view-thailands-lese-majeste-law-claims-latest-victim/

17 JANUARY 2012

Thai comedian sentenced for insulting monarchy

Yosawaris Chuklom, 54, who goes by the stage name Jeng Dokchik, was found guilty under Thailand’s strict lese majeste law, which punishes anyone convicted of defaming the Thai king, queen, heir or regent with up to 15 years in prison. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/thailand/9807958/Thai-comedian-sentenced-for-insulting-monarchy.html

24 AUGUST 2012

2 Thai prisoners pardoned for insulting monarchy

A prison official says two Thai men convicted of defaming the country’s monarchy have been released from jail after receiving a royal pardon. The two are pro-democracy activist Warawut Thanungkorn and shoe repairman Suriyan Kokpeuay
http://asiancorrespondent.com/88207/2-thai-prisoners-pardoned-for-insulting-monarchy/ http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20120824-367402.html

17 JULY 2012

Lese Majeste Charge for Selling VCD of Thai Royal family

The trial of a Thai man accused of selling video CDs of an Australian television news segment about Thailand’s monarchy is set to begin today in Bangkok

11 JULY 2012

Thailand frees US man jailed over banned book

Joe Gordon, who was sentenced in December for translating excerpts of the book The King Never Smiles into Thai, was released from jail on Tuesday night. No reason was given for the pardon, but US officials have pressed Thai authorities to release the Thai-born American.

30 MAY 2012

Thai web editor escapes jail over ‘royal insults’

Chiranuch Premchaiporn was found guilty for allowing content prohibited under Thailand’s controversial “lese-majeste” law to stay on Prachatai, an independent online news site, for 20 days before it was deleted.

10 MAY 2012

Group steps up bid to change Article 112

A group seeking amendment to the lese majeste law is stepping up its campaign following the death of an elderly man detained in a case in which he was found guilty of sending text messages deemed offensive to the monarchy

8 MAY 2012

A Victim of Thailand’s Lese-Majeste Law Dies

Amphon “Akong” Tangnoppakul, 61, who had been sentenced to 20 years in prison, has died. His death is a slap in the face of the Thai hyper-royalists who have employed the draconian lèse-majesté law as a political weapon to control differences in political views in society

11 JANUARY 2012

‘No public route’ to change Article 112

The shaky campaign to amend Article 112 of the Penal Code appeared all but dead yesterday when Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung backed legal opinions that it was constitutionally impossible to push for changes through a signature-gathering crusade
3 JANUARY 2012

Amnesty to Thaksin would spark conflict, Abhisit warns

Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday January 3 warned the Yingluck Shinawatra government against amending the controversial lese-majeste law or granting amnesty to fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, saying such moves would spark conflicts in society

31 DECEMBER 2011

Truth panel backs call to change lese majeste law

The Truth for Reconciliation Commission of Thailand (TRCT) yesterday issued a statement backing calls for amendment of the lese majeste law on grounds that the suppression of insults to the monarchy had been politicised to fuel social divisions

24 DECEMBER 2011

Royalists Step Up Campaign to Stifle Criticism of the Monarchy in Thailand

Thailand has always stood out for the deference that many Thais show their monarch. But in the twilight of the reign of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 84, now ailing and living in a specially outfitted suite in a Bangkok hospital, dedicated loyalists are leading a feverish, with-us-or-against-us campaign to defend him from any perceived slights or criticism. The government has also intensified its crackdown on criticism of the monarchy, prosecuting a record number of people charged with insulting the royal family


US blogger jailed for insulting Thai king

A US citizen has been jailed for two and a half years by Thai authorities for translating excerpts of a locally banned biography of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and posting them online

24 November 2011

Thailand asks Facebook to delete ‘offensive’ content

Thailand has asked social networking website Facebook to delete more than 10,000 pages of content containing images or text which it claims are “offensive” to the monarchy, a minister said Thursday. The news comes a day after a Thai court jailed a man for 20 years for sending four text messages deemed insulting to the monarchy, alarming critics who say the kingdom’s strict lese-majeste laws hamper free speech.

23 NOVEMBER 2011

Thailand lese majeste man jailed for 20 years

The court found Ampon Tangnoppakul, nicknamed ‘grandpa’ and ‘Uncle SMS’ by the local press, guilty of sending messages insulting the monarchy to the mobile phone of the secretary of former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva last year during anti-government protests

10 OCTOBER 2011

US citizen pleads guilty to insulting Thai royals

Thai-born Joe Wichai Commart Gordon was arrested in May during a holiday in the kingdom and accused of posting a link to a translation of a banned book on his blog, along with other material deemed offensive, while living in the US.

3 OCTOBER 2011

In Thailand, a Campaign to Purify Internet of Royal Insults

Down a maze of neon-lit corridors in a massive government complex here is a windowless room where computer technicians scour the Internet for photos, articles, Facebook postings — anything that might be deemed offensive to King Bhumibol Adulyadej and his family

8 AUGUST 2011

Lese-Majeste Continues in Thailand

Critics in Thailand are concerned that the arrest of Noravej Sethiwongse, a 23-year-old former student for lèse-majesté in Bangkok last Friday indicates that the country’s remaining power structure shows no intention of letting up on arrests for alleged insults to the royalty despite their defeat in July 9 national polls

27 MAY 2011

Thailand arrests American for alleged king insult

Thai authorities said Friday they arrested an American citizen on charges he insulted the country’s monarchy, in part by posting a link on his blog four years ago to a banned book about the Southeast Asian nation’s ailing king

21 MAY 2011

100 young writers join forces calling for change in lese majeste law

One hundred writers have joined a growing chorus in the call to amend the lese majeste law and stop the use of the law as a “political tool” to suppress political opponents and freedom of political expression.

11 MAY 2011

Thai Lese-Majeste Claims Another Victim

With national elections scheduled in less than two months, there appears no letup in the Thai army’s crackdown on freedom of expression through use of the country’s laws against insulting King Bhumibol Adulyadej and other members of the royal family. The latest victim of the
country’s increasingly tightened laws on freedom of expression appears to be Somsak Jeamteerasakul, a Thammasat University professor who was summoned to a Bangkok police station to hear lèse-majesté charges filed against him, apparently at the direction of Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha

14 APRIL 2010

Government Distances Itself From Thai Monarchy Comments

The Thai government distances itself from remarks in the United States by Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya about a need for a more open discussion of what he called the taboo subject of the role of the monarchy in Thailand

2 APRIL 2010

More Lèse-Majesté Charges in Thailand

The jailing Wednesday March 31 in Bangkok of Chiranuch Premchaiporn, the webmaster of the popular independent Thai online news portal
Prachatai, is another example of the stringent crackdown on any comment about the country’s monarchy as the process to succeed the ailing 83-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej grows more intense. Chiranuch was released after paying a Bt300,000 (US$9,269) bond and spending four hours in jail

26 JUNE 2009

Concern at secret Thailand trial

The human rights group Amnesty International has condemned the secret trial in Thailand of a woman charged with insulting the royal family. The woman was arrested a year ago after giving a speech in Bangkok in which she attacked the monarchy

3 APRIL 2009

Thai man jailed for royal insult

A Thai citizen has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for violating strict laws against insulting the monarchy. A court in Bangkok said Suwicha Thakho, 34, digitally altered images of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and his family and posted them on the internet

8 MARCH 2009

Thai premier will try to spare websites

The government will try not to shut down websites with content deemed offensive to the monarchy but will take legal action against those responsible, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said yesterday. His comment came one day after the director of the non-profit web board at prachatai.com was charged with violating the Computer Crime Act

7 MARCH 2009

Thailand’s Royalists again

Another independent figure is arrested on lese majeste charges

21 FEBRUARY 2009

Thailand frees Australian writer

An Australian writer jailed for insulting the Thai royal family has flown home to reunion with his family after being pardoned by King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Harry Nicolaides arrived in the city of Melbourne on Saturday after spending five months in a Bangkok prison on charges of
slandering the Thai monarchy

11 FEBRUARY 2009

Lese majeste law must not be abused, says Thai PM

In an exclusive interview with The Straits Times at his office in Parliament House, Abhisit said: “A lot of countries have contempt of court laws, because the courts have to be neutral and respected. The monarchy is a revered institution above politics and conflicts and therefore has no self-defence mechanism, that’s why we have the law.”

He agreed however, that the application of the law “has caused a number of problems”


Thai accademic accused of insulting monarchy flees

Ji Ungpakorn, a prominent academic facing 15 years in prison for allegedly insulting Thailand’s monarchy fled to England, saying Monday he does not believe he will receive a fair trial

23 JANUARY 2009

The today  issue of The Economist is banned in Thailand

The latest edition of UK-based current affairs  magazine the Economist has been banned in Thailand, amid local anger over its  coverage of the royal family.

The Economist’s Thai distributor held back January 23,  2009 – which contains an article about an Australian writer who was jailed for
slandering the monarchy


Here is the article of The Economist :


20 JANUARY 2009

Activist  charged with Thai ‘insult’

A leading political critic has been charged with  insulting Thailand’s king under the country’s controversial lese majeste laws.  Giles Ungpakorn, of Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, was formally charged on  Tuesday with insulting the monarchy in a book he authored criticising  Thailand’s September 2006 military coup.

19 JANUARY 2009

Australian  author guilty of Thai king insult

A court in Thailand has sentenced an Australian author  to three years in jail after finding him guilty of insulting the country’s  royal family

13 JANUARY 2009

A Thai academic facing charges of insulting the  monarchy called Tuesday for a campaign to abolish the law under which he could  be jailed for 15 years

Here is the article writen by Grant Peck for  Associated Press on January 13, 2008 :

Ji Ungpakorn, a prominent activist and political  scientist at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, said police have asked to  question him over a book he wrote about Thailand’s 2006 military coup. His case  is the latest sign of ideological struggle over the role of the monarchy, a  subject that was once taboo. There has been a recent spate of complaints and  prosecutions for lese majeste — as the charge is called — and increased
censorship of Web sites allegedly critical of the institution.

Those who have faced lese majeste complaints in the year include a fledgling Australian novelist, a BBC reporter, a prominent  Buddhist intellectual and an activist who refused to stand up during the  traditional playing of the Royal Anthem before a movie.

Ji said at a news conference that the lese majeste  law, which mandates a jail term of three to 15 years for defaming the king, the  queen or the heir to the throne, “restricts freedom of speech and  expression and does not allow for public accountability and transparency of the  institution of the monarchy.”

He charged that it is used “as a tool by the  military, and other authoritarian elites, in order to protect their own  interests.” He claimed he was being targeted for political reasons because  he criticized the military and its coup.Newly elected Prime Minister Abhisit  Vejjajiva has promised to take “all measures” to prevent people from  defaming the monarchy.

But Ji, who is the son of one of the most respected  civil servants in modern Thailand, the late Central Bank Governor Puey  Ungpakorn, called for “an international and national political campaign to  defend democratic rights in Thailand and for the abolition of the Lese Majeste  law.”

Until recently, prosecutions under the law have been  uncommon — usually a handful a year — not surprising in a country where the  81-year-old king is almost universally revered as a selfless and hardworking  benefactor of the people.

But questions about the monarchy have assumed a higher  profile lately as consideration is given to the eventual succession of  Bhumibol, the world’s longest serving head of state and the only monarch most  Thais have ever lived under.

Although he is a constitutional monarch who reigns but  does not rule, Bhumibol —with the backing of the military — has since the 1960s  held commanding political influence, usually exercised only in times of  national crisis.

But his influence was challenged by the rise of  billionaire politician Thaksin Shinawatra, who became prime minister in 2001  and whose party won an unprecedented absolute majority in Parliament in a 2005  general election. Thaksin won the devotion of the country’s rural majority with
populist policies that directly benefited them, such as low-cost  universal health care.

One of the reasons the army gave for ousting Thaksin  was a claim that he had treated the king with disrespect.

When Thaksin’s political allies regained power in a  December 2007 general election, the fight over the former prime minister was  revived, and his critics again claimed to be defending the monarchy in their  bid to remove all those connected with Thaksin from power. Their confrontational
protests culminated in the weeklong occupation of Bangkok’s two airports at the  end of last year.

Another article on the same topic






17 October 2007


In Thailand, the current monarch, Bhumibol Adulyadej  (Rama IX) is not only respected, but venerated.

A law forbid to everyone to criticize him or the  monarchy. The problem is that the Prime Minister, and the party in charge,  often took adventage of this law to charge opposition leaders, journalists,  foreign newspapers…

The king has expressed his concern


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