Netizens Charged With Libel for Posts About Thai PM Prayut’s Daughters
Khaosod English Tue September 15, 2020
BANGKOK — Police on Tuesday said seven people were charged for posting defamatory content online about Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha’s daughters, and more people will be summoned for questioning.
The seven suspects reported to the Nang Loeng Police Station on Monday to hear their charges for the comments they made about Tanya Chan-o-cha and Nittha Chan-o-cha. The pair said they were subject to unfounded accusations on social media.
“There’s quite a few more people on the way, but we haven’t summoned them yet,” Lt. Col. Atit Donnanchai of Nang Loeng Police said by phone Tuesday.
The complaint was filed on behalf of Prayut’s daughters on Sept. 2 by a representative of the Office of the Prime Minister.
A statement issued by Tanya and Nittha said about a hundred social media accounts posted false allegations about them online, such as accusing them of laundering money for their father, living in an expensive mansion in the United Kingdom, and changing their names to avoid certain criminal charges.
The netizens did not cite any evidence for the accusations. But one of the suspects summoned to the police station today said she merely wanted to raise attention to the matters.
“My intention was not to defame, but only to raise the issue,” Suphaphorn Phosri said. “We didn’t get any answers. We want to know who his daughters are. If they are really innocent, why don’t they come out in public?”
Suphaphorn, 30, said she denied the charge. Col. Atit said that of the seven people who surrendered themselves today, six also denied the charges, while one confessed.
Another suspect, Amornpak Sribunchai, 48, said she was surprised to get a police summons, and maintained she could not even remember whether she shared any content related to #FindPrayut’sDaughters.
Libel carries a maximum penalty of 1 year in prison.
Source: Khaosod English, Thailand Tue September 15, 2020