Royalist group threatens to file lèse majesté charges against over 100 people

The online royalist group Thailand Help Centre for Cyberbullying Victims has reportedly threatened to file lèse majesté charges, or Section 112 of the Thai Criminal Code, against over 100 people, whose personal details were released on a Google map link.


The "112 map" showing locations of people the Centre claimed violated Section 112. If clicked on the marker, their pictures and personal information are shown. 

The student activist group United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration (UFTD) posted on their Facebook page that there was a Google map link the group claimed was made by the Thailand Help Centre for Cyberbullying Victims.

The Centre is online royalist group whose members have filed numerous lèse majesté charges against many netizens and several activists, including student activist Parit Chiwarak.

The group even claimed in one post that they have filed complaints with the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) against 90 people for posts made on Queen Suthida’s birthday which they see as insulting the Queen.

The Centre has several posts on their Facebook page saying that they are compiling evidence to file charges against netizens. On 21 June 2021, the Centre posted that they will be filing more lèse majesté complaints with the TCSD on 10 July 2021, and claimed that they will be compiling evidence to file complaints against at least 1000 people whose online activity is seen by the Centre as insulting the monarchy.

The post on the Centre's official Line account where they share the link to the Google map. 

The Centre also has an official Line account, where they invite their followers to send information on people who may have violated Section 112. A link to the map was shared on the Line account, as well as personal information of those against whom the group are threatening to file charges. In the same post, they stated that they are “building a 112 map” and that people shouldn’t “get too cocky during the upcoming auspicious month.”

The group also said on the Line account that they are sending documents to people’s places of employment or educational institutions to inform them of actions they deemed violated the law.

They also have several posts on the Facebook page saying they are monitoring speeches given at protests on 24 June to see whether any violate Section 112, and asked whether Parit has violated his bail conditions by giving a speech mentioning the monarchy.

A post on the Center's official Line account detailing their process, which includes contacting their target's places of employment or educational institutions. 

The map, called “112 map,” contained pictures and personal information, including addresses and places of education and employment, of over 100 people. The UFTD claimed that the Centre threatened to file lèse majesté charges against these people.

The UFTD said that this is “intimidation and a severe violation of freedom of expression,” as citizens should be able to criticize the monarchy in a democratic society, and that doxing is a violation of rights and intimidation, which is unacceptable.   

Meanwhile, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) said that, since the beginning of June 2021, they have received numerous complaints from netizens saying that they have been threatened with charges under Section 112 by members of the Centre.

TLHR said that these people received documents containing their personal information and records of content they have made or shared on social media from anonymous Facebook accounts, along with messages such as “this is not your only charge.” The document also contained instructions on how to file charges against social media users.

TLHR also said that they have received such complaints from at least 62 people.

The map became briefly inaccessible after an online campaign for netizens to report the map for violating Google’s Terms of Service against harassment, but as of 15.10 on Monday (28 June) is back online.

The artist network Free Arts, which also called for their followers to report the map, posted on Monday afternoon (28 June) that they will be filing charges against the Centre and is now calling for netizens to file reports against the Centre’s Facebook page for harassment. As of 15.10 on Monday (28 June), the page appeared to have been taken down. However, as of 13.30 on Tuesday (29 June), the page is back online.  

Advertisements

Since 2007, Prachatai English has been covering underreported issues in Thailand, especially about democratization and human rights, despite the risk and pressure from the law and the authorities. However, with only 2 full-time reporters and increasing annual operating costs, keeping our work going is a challenge. Your support will ensure we stay a professional media source and be able to expand our team to meet the challenges and deliver timely and in-depth reporting.

• Simple steps to support Prachatai English

1. Bank transfer to account “โครงการหนังสือพิมพ์อินเทอร์เน็ต ประชาไท” or “Prachatai Online Newspaper” 091-0-21689-4, Krungthai Bank

2. Or, Transfer money via Paypal, to e-mail address: service@prachatai.com, please leave a comment on the transaction as “For Prachatai English”