Pro-democracy activist released on bail pending charges over ‘innocent’ post

PHOTOS: Khaosod English and The Nation

The Criminal Court yesterday released political activist Karn Ponpraphan on bail of 100,000 baht, whilst setting conditions that he refrain from posting political messages on social media.

25 year old Karn was arrested earlier yesterday by Technology Crime Suppression Division officials, who showed up at his home on Phaholyothin Road in Bangkok for posting on Facebook messages that allegedly violated Section 14 of the Computer Crimes Act.

Karn was taken to a police station and charged with violating the cybercrime law. If found guilty he faces five years in jail.

Karn’s lawyer stated that his client had posted historical comments that had nothing to do with the Thai monarchy. He also stressed that Karn’s writing never mentioned the Thai monarchy in any way and disputed speculation that Karn was criticising recent traffic woes in Bangkok allegedly caused by a royal motorcade.

The activist, who has previously participated in pro-democracy rallies calling for elections, says he will fight the case because he believed he had been accused of serious allegations for an “innocent post”.

Meanwhile, a senior government official claims five more people could be arrested in connection with “inappropriate” online comments about the Thai monarchy. In an October 2 post, which he has since deleted, Karn made references to the gruesome fates of past European monarchies, though he did not explicitly mention the Thai Royal Family.

Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan said he had been informed by the digital economy ministry that five more people of interest could be involved with “offensive comments on social media”. His comments came just hours after Karn Pongpraphapan was charged.

SOURCE: The Nation

Pro-democracy activist released on bail pending charges over ‘innocent’ post | News by Thaiger

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