Well-known junta critic released after hearing sedition charges

The police have released a politician known for his anti-junta stand, who is facing a sedition charge over his Facebook posts.  

On 1 August 2017, Watana Muangsook, a politician from the Pheu Thai Party, reported to the Technology Crime Suppression Division after he was accused of violating Article 116 of the Criminal Code, the sedition law.

He was accused of posting several Facebook messages in support of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra before she delivered her closing statement on the rice-pledging scheme case to the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions on 1 August 2017.

He is also charged under Article 14 of the Computer Crime Act for allegedly importing illegal computer content.

According to the authorities, Watana’s Facebook posts, which called on people to gather at the court to support the former PM, incited conflict and chaos.

Watana, however, told the police that he did not intend to incite chaos with the posts, adding that the 2017 Constitution guarantees his rights to post such statements.

He then stated that calling on people to support the former PM is not a threat to national security and that the junta leader and his cabinet should not use laws as political tools.  

He was released after a brief interrogation without having to submit a bail request.

Watana (centre) reporting to the TCSD on 1 August 2017 (Photo from Banrasdr Photo Facebook)