freedom of expression
(New York, June 14, 2019) – Thai authorities are harassing and intimidating social critics for mocking Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha after he assumed the premiership for another term, Human Rights Watch said today.
After publishing a music video mocking NCPO leader Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha’s song “Returning Happiness to the People”, Bangkok-based French expat Yan Marchal said that he was visited by two police officers on Wednesday (12 June).
The court has dismissed a charge against Sakan (family name not given out of privacy concerns), alleged to have violated Article 112 while detained in Bangkok Remand Prison. The court said that even though the accused confessed, his action cannot be confirmed as defamation against the King and Queen as charged. The court therefore dismissed the case under Article 185 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
‘Rap Against Dictatorship’ says that politics, for them, is posing questions about the things happening in daily life. An interest in politics is a way to change for the better things that you don’t like and dictatorship isn’t only the military, but the election that’s about to happen can also be held in a dictatorial way. We also a talk with Teerawat Rujintham, the director of the MV, who is behind many pro-democracy groups.
Almost 20 police officers from Bowon Mongkol Police Station went to close down the punk concert hosted by the Facebook page ‘It’s almost 4 years already, I Sadd’’ at The Overstay, Charan Sanitwong, on 21 September, on the grounds that it was a political event and permission had not been requested from the authorities.
A student activist has been arrested in Khon Kaen for a peaceful, symbolic protest against the junta. On 21 December 2017, a military prosecutor in Khon Kaen detained Phanuphong Sithananuwat, 22, a student activist from the pro-democracy Dao Din group. Authorities arrested Phanuphong while he was attending a trial for another lawsuit, in which he stands accused of criticising the junta’s charter in July 2016. According to a local source, the court has granted him bail.
A UN rapporteur argues that Southeast Asian countries are undermining their economic potential due to the lack of freedom of expression, adding that social media companies should be more concerned about protecting customers’ privacy. Average annual GDP growth in the Southeast Asian region for 2017 is forecast by the ADB at 5.0%.
The police have accused a veteran journalist known for his anti-junta stand of sedition over Facebook posts critical of the junta. On 1 August 2017, Pravit Rojanaphruk, a senior reporter at Khaosod English, who has consistently criticised Thailand’s junta and the lèse majesté law, posted on his Facebook account that the Technology Crime Suppression Division accused him of violation of Article 116 of the Criminal Code, the sedition law.
The military has threatened to detain an outspoken academic in a military barracks if he does not stop posting about corruption and dictatorship. On 13 June 2017, Surapot Thaweesak, a well-known scholar of religion, posted on his Facebook account that military officers in Bangkok had warned him over political posts.
Soldiers have paid visit to the house of a well-known anti-junta activist, demanding her to cease all political activities. At about 2 pm on 7 June 2017, soldiers visited a house of Chonticha Jaeng-rew, an activist from Democracy Restoration Group (DRG), in Lat Lum Kaeo District of Pathum Thani Province.