Police threaten French expat over viral parody video

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).

Yan Marchal in his music video

The police asked him to remove the video clip and to sign a “memorandum,” the English version of which Yan posted on his Facebook page. Part of the document stated that the music video was an “improper act” and that he is “now repenting for the bad action and will not do it again.” It also stated that “I myself would like to say sorry to the government and the people of Thailand on my improper behaviour which causing the damage against the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and the people of Thailand,” that he must make a video clip apologizing to the NCPO and the Thai people, and that he was not threatened into signing the document.

Yan wrote on his Facebook page that the police were waiting outside his house for much of yesterday, but that there was no animosity. He said that he agreed to sign the document because he “won’t pick a fight that [he] cannot win and would only result either in legal trouble, or visa cancellation, or both.”

Yan’s music video, published on 10 June, had gone viral and has more than 1 million views on YouTube. In the video, Yan sings before a backdrop of the NCPO logo. Instead of the lyrics “we shall act according to our promises,” the words were changed to “we will break our promises,” and instead of asking for “a little time,” the words were changed to “we need a lot more time.” The video has since been removed.