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Court denies request to remove online footage of Thanathorn’s criticism of vaccine rollout

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Wikimedia

The Criminal Court has rejected a bid by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society to remove a piece of online footage that criticises the government’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout. The former leader of the Future Forward Party, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, took to Facebook to live stream his thoughts on the government’s handling of the national vaccination programme, criticising officials for procurement decisions and referencing the Monarchy.

Thai firm Siam Bioscience, which is owned by the Crown Property Bureau, has been given sole rights to manufacture the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine in the Kingdom. Production is expected to begin in mid-2021. The government had attempted to use the country’s strict lèse majesté law as grounds to remove Thanathorn’s footage. The law prohibits criticism or defamation of the Monarchy.

However, in its ruling, the court says most of Thananthorn’s criticism was directed at the government’s handling of the vaccine rollout, with little mention of Siam Bioscience. As such, the video could not be considered a violation of the lèse majesté law or a threat to national security. The finding comes following Thananthorn’s appeal of an earlier ruling that saw the livestream removed from Facebook. The opposition politician has come under fire from staunch royalists, who accuse him of dragging the Monarchy into the debate on vaccine rollout.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    The government will go to any extreme, these days, to use lese majeste to silence their critics.

    It’s a sad state of affairs. Thailand deserves better.

  2. Avatar

    Ynwaps

    Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 12:38 pm

    What’s Siam Bioscience have to do with lèse majesté?

    The only threat to national security is a government that ruins public trust in the vaccine through censorship.

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 1:06 pm

      It is owned by the monarchy.
      This does not matter now because this Siam Bioscience will not be producing the vaccine, even though a self proclaimed wise man living in solitude in a bamboo hut said it would.
      He claims he dreamt of an old man dressed in white who told him it would.
      Others claim he saw a vision in an empty Chang bottle.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 4:07 pm

      Evidently the court’s view too, Ynwaps.

      • Avatar

        Ynwaps

        Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 6:44 pm

        Some smart people in the country after all

  3. Avatar

    Jeff

    Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    An important blow to tyranny.

    • Avatar

      Gosport

      Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 4:33 pm

      Seems this young guy doubts everything. Too much Chang?

  4. Avatar

    Social Observer

    Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 3:19 pm

    Surprise!

  5. Avatar

    sam

    Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 9:07 pm

    If Thanathorn had been banned from politics for ten years,after his party was dissolved,why was he allowed to campaign for recent provincial elections with his new movement ? He uses the “3 fingers salute” borrowed from the movie,Hunger Games to promote democracy that galvanised young people to follow his ideology without question.It is very western-oriented system that is not suitable for Asian democracy. USA is no longer a model for democracy due to recent events that happened,after its last election.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 12:29 am

      He wasn’t “allowed to”, Sam.

      His was the “Future Forward” party, the party he now supports which ran in the provincial elections was the “Move Forward” party.

      Different party.

  6. Avatar

    Jim kelly

    Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 9:40 pm

    ONE DAY THIS GUY WILL BECOME THE LEADER OF THAILAND… like the song by Depeche Mode, “It’s just a question of time!”
    THE YOUNG PEOPLE WILL HAVE THEIR VOICE.

  7. Avatar

    Ian

    Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 12:23 am

    I so hope Jim anybody but the crap that rules now without the country’s support the tide has turned I’m still young enough to see this happen in my lifetime and bring democracy and freedom to the Thai people and hopefully the farang gets treated with respect from the government the people i have met in the villages like us as we contribute so much to this country

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 4:14 am

      “respect” is earnt.

      Dross contributing to the economy by sitting outside 7-11 sharing a bottle of Chang paid for from a lifetime of petty crime and spongeing on the dole having contributed nothing to their own country doesn’t qualify.

  8. Avatar

    Geoff

    Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 10:27 am

    Sad comment, even for you. Perhaps change your (ever decreasing?) circle of friends?

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