Submitted on Tue, 2016-12-06 16:15
Thailand’s deputy junta head has confirmed BBC Thai will be prosecuted for publishing a controversial biography of the newly instated King Vajiralongkorn.
On 6 December 2016, deputy junta head Prawit Wongsuwan told media that the biography contains false information, so he has urged authorities to investigate whether the article is in breach of the law. If it is, BBC Thai will be strictly prosecuted, reported Spring News.
“[Publishers of] illegal and defamatory content must be prosecuted. I’ve told the authorities to strictly follow the law. No privilege. No discrimination. The authorities are investigating the case because there are both true and false information [in the biography],” Spring News quoted Prawit as saying.
The biography immediately went viral after it was published on 2 December via BBC Thai’s Facebook page. It received almost 3,000 shares, as well as heavy criticism due its controversial discussion of King Rama X’s personal life.
Some Facebook users displeased by the article went as far as to reveal the personal information of BBC Thai’s editor Nopporn Wong-Anan. Some even called for his expulsion from the country.
“How dare you write this thing? Don’t stay in Thailand,” read one comment.
“Why do we have to keep these people in Thailand? Get rid of them from the country,” reads another comment
One day after the biography was published, an anti-junta activist Jatuphat Boonpattaraksa was arrested for sharing the article. He was accused of breaching Article 112 of the Criminal Code — the lèse majesté law — and the Computer Crimes Act, which bans the importation of illegal content via computer systems. He was released on bail with 400,000 baht as surety.
The biography is currently censored in Thailand by the Ministry of Digitial Economy and Society.