Freedom of expression compromised in Thailand
Thailand: Online freedom of expression in Thailand has been compromised forcing people to limit their opinions and comments to themselves. The Thai Crimes Act holds webmasters criminally liable for all comments made by others on their site and threats imprisonment under the law.
According to Chiranuch Premchaiporn director at Prachatai “I manage an online discussion forum and was arrested for comments made by an anonymous poster on my website. My government wants to put me in jail and currently I am on trial for words expressed by someone I do not know. The online freedom of expression in Thailand is being compromised with policies constraining freedom of expression of normal public.”
“The Computer-related Crimes Act includes provisions for online “lese majeste,” an antiquated law making it illegal to say anything allegedly insulting the monarchy. There has been a 1,500% increase in the prosecution of “lese majeste” since 2005, which the government has been using as cover to crackdown on the opposition. So, because I did not delete comments violating “lese majeste” quickly enough, I could spend decades in jail. Even though Prime Minister Shinawatra said she did not want “misuse” of the law, her new government has not done anything to stop unjust crackdowns. We have tried to fight this law at home (as we speak I am in the courtroom). But now with a new Prime Minister, we think that international pressure might force the government to reconsider this problematic law and even drop the charges against me,” added she, in the letter to Access now.
Access now in their website have stated , “It’s outrageous, but it’s going on in Thailand, where leading opposition journalist Chiranuch Premchaiporn is on trial for just for an anonymous comment left in his blog . Besides Chiranuch, countless others have been charged and jailed under the Computer-related Crimes Act. Similar laws are being looked at in other countries and we need to stop it in Thailand before it spreads. It’s time to tell the newly-elected Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to repeal the Computer-related Crimes Act and to immediately release all those jailed under its unjust provisions.”
Access now has recently launched a campaign Comments aren’t crimes against such policies.
Tags: Prachatai , Chiranuch , Accessnow , Crimes Act , Lese Majeste
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.