Rap Against Dictatorship’s latest MV blocked in Thailand

The music video for Rap Against Dictatorship (RAD)’s latest song “Reform” has been blocked on YouTube’s Thai domain due to a “legal complaint from the government.”

The video’s page shows the message “this content is not available on this country domain due to a legal complaint from the government” when accessed in Thailand.

RAD posted on their Facebook page that the video can still be accessed if the location is set to another country, and that they have not received any explanation from YouTube or responsible government agencies of why the video was blocked and which part of the music video or the song broke the law.

The song was released in November 2020 and reached over 300,000 views on YouTube within 9 hours. It currently has over 9 million views.

The music video uses footage from recent pro-democracy protests, including the 16 October 2020 crackdown on the protest at the Pathumwan intersection and the 8 November 2020 protest at the Grand Palace, when water cannon were fired at protesters.

It also features singer-turned-activist Chaiamorn “Ammy” Kaewwiboonpan, lead singer of the pop band The Bottom Blues, who has been openly supporting the pro-democracy movement and joining protests.

The song itself raises questions about state-linked information operations, legal prosecutions of protesters using sedition charges, media censorship, use of taxpayers’ money, and the demands of the pro-democracy movement. 

At least two of RAD’s members, Dechathorn Bumrungmuang and Pratchayaa Surakamchonrot, are also facing charges for participating in the protest on 18 July 2020.

The group is also known for their previous work, “Prathet Ku Mi” (“Which is My Country”), which was released in November 2018 and quickly went viral. The song talks frankly of the political and social problems plaguing Thailand, and as a result, the NCPO regime threatened RAD with legal prosecution.

In May 2019, RAD was named one of the three winners of the 2019 Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent, which was presented on 29 May 2019 at the Oslo Freedom Forum.

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