Update: Military files charges against politician criticising deputy junta leader

Update: The Criminal Court on Thursday granted 100,000 baht bail to Watana after he was charged by the military with the 2007 Computer Crime Act for criticising Gen Prawit Wongsuwan on facebook. In response to the lawsuit, Watana posted a status on his facebook profile after he was granted bail “why can’t I criticise you.”  

The Thai military has filed charges against a Pheu Thai Party politician after abducting him for criticism of a deputy junta head.

According to Voice TV, at around 10 pm on Wednesday, 2 March 2016, military officers took Watana Muangsook, a former Minister of Social Development and Human Security of the Pheu Thai Party, to Nang Lerng Police Station in Bangkok, where they filed a complaint under the 2007 Computer Crime Act.

The politician was then interrogated by police officers and was sent home in a military vehicle at 11 pm.

Watana posted on his Facebook profile that the investigating officer told him that he has to go to the criminal court on Thursday morning to request bail.

Yesterday morning, 10 military officers visited Watana’s house and took him to the 11th Military Circle on Rama V Road, Bangkok, where he was detained until he was taken to the police station at night.

Prior to his abduction, Watana had posted a message on his Facebook profile criticising Gen Prawit after the Deputy Prime Minister on Monday told the media the reasons why soldiers were dispatched to follow Yingluck Shinawatra, the ex-Prime Minister from the Pheu Thai Party, at a recent funeral she attended.

Gen Prawit said then that the soldiers were dispatched to protect her and they probably took photos of her because she is ‘attractive’.

In response to Gen Prawit’s words, Watana wrote that such words show that Gen Prawit is sexist.

He implied that Gen Prawit, who is also the President of the War Veterans Organisation of Thailand under Royal Patronage, is involved in allegations of corruption in projects to dredge canals.

Watana was among more than 100 politicians who were summoned by the coup-makers after the 2014 coup d’état. He, like Yingluck, is currently barred from travelling overseas without approval from the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

A vocal critic of the junta, he has been repeatedly summoned for discussions with military officers.


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