No FB posts on dictatorship or corruption, military tells academic

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.

The officers specifically mentioned about his Facebook post about corruption in which he referred to the regime as a dictatorship. They said that if he does not stop, he will be taken to Bangkok for ‘attitude adjustment’ (detention with forced lectures in a military base).

Surapot said soldiers went to his home in Hua Hin District of Prachuap Khiri Khan Province on 3 June, but he was not at home. Therefore, they inquired about his personal details from district officials and told them to pass on a warning.

The academic said that he was merely exercising his rights guaranteed under the 2017 Constitution, reasoning that the junta should be reasonable if they are honest about fostering democracy.

“We all well know that academics, the media, politicians, and people who love democracy are all calling on the NCPO (National Council for Peace and Order) government to ease up and allow the people more freedom of expression and political freedom to move peacefully toward a democracy, so I hope the NCPO government will listen to ‘reason’,” Surapot wrote in his Facebook comment.

Surapot Thaweesak (file photo)