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Monarchy critic faces charges for Facebook page

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: Khaosod

A popular critic of Thailand and Thai politics is facing charges for a Facebook group he runs that is critical of the Thai Monarchy. The private group “Royalist Marketplace,” run by Pavin Chachavalpongpun, has more than 1 million followers. Some of the supporters have been spotted at recent pro-democracy protests holding Royalist Marketplace signs.

A complaint was filed by Ministry of Digital Economy and Society and Technology Crime Suppression Division. The spokesperson from the ministry told Thai media that the Facebook group “imported criminal information” which involves threats to national security.

The Facebook group is known for its politically charged and satirical content. Due to Thai law, we can’t share the content. Chachavalpongpun, associate professor at the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies at Kyoto University Japan, says he believes the Facebook group played a large role in empowering people to protest the government. Both the professor’s portrait and Royalist Marketplace signs have been seen at pro-democracy protests, Thai media reports.

Government officials warn that some social media posts may lead to criminal punishments. An online reporting system was even initiated to allow the public to more efficiently report on potentially illegal online posts and websites. The ministry spokesperson warns that sharing illegal information, in violation of the Computer Crime Act, could lead to a 5 year prison sentence and 100,000 baht fine.

Earlier this month, the Digital Economy and Society Minister Puttipong Punnakanta said that websites or online pages that violate the Computer Crime Act, and do not comply with orders from Thai authorities, may face penalties of up to 200,000 baht and an additional 5,000 baht per day until the orders are observed.

SOURCE: Prachatai

 

 

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Harry

    Monday, August 24, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    They go abduct him in Kioto? Silencing of opinions is not a sign of democracy. Using laws the threat people for speaking out is also a sign of a sick system.

  2. Avatar

    Mike White

    Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 10:25 pm

    If he don’t live in Thailand then they are SOOL putting him in jail or fining him unless they can get him extradited

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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