8 people arrested for sharing social media post claiming police were behind activist attack

Instead of investigating the attack on activist Sirawith Serithiwat and detaining the attackers, the police have arrested 8 people for sharing social media post saying that Deputy Police Commissioner Chaiwat Ketworachai is behind the attack on activists.

Left: Pictures of the 13 suspects from Police News
Right: Sirawith in hospital

Police Spokesperson Pol Col Krissana Pattanacharoen said on Wednesday (10 July) that an investigation by the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) found that 13 people were involved in disseminating an allegation that the police were involved in the recent attacks on activists, and that eight people have confessed to sharing the post without knowing that it was a false report.

Col Krissana said that the group do not know each other, but share the same political views, and they do not benefit from sharing the post.

The suspects were charged with circulation of computer data which is contrary to peace and order or the good morals of the people, under Section 14, Clause 2 of the Computer Crimes Act, which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison or a fine of 100,00 baht or both.

The investigation also found that 3 – 4 suspects used fake social media accounts to hide their identity and escape police investigation. 5 other suspects will be handing themselves into the police within this week.

As for Sirawith’s case, Col Krissana said up to 20 eyewitnesses have been questioned. However, inspection of security cameras in the area found that some were malfunctioning and unable to capture footage of the perpetrators. Nevertheless, Col Krissana assured both Sirawith and the public that the police are working on this case to the best of their abilities.

Meanwhile, activists Ekkachai Hongkangwan and Anurak “Ford” Jeantawanich went to the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) to ask the CSD to take over their assault cases, since there has been no progress on any of them.

Anurak has been assaulted twice, while Ekkachai has been attacked 7 times and has his car torched two times. Ekkachai said that, of the 9 cases, there are only 2 in which a perpetrator had been arrested. No perpetrators have been found in the rest of the cases.


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