The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DES) today, January 20th, has filed a royal defamation complaint against former Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, regarding his Facebook Live that appeared to be questioning the government’s Covid-19 vaccination strategy.
Thanathon, who was previously banned from political activities for 10 years by the Thai court, conducted a live broadcast via the Progressive Movement official Facebook page on Monday, January 18th, about how, in his opinion and beliefs, the government is allegedly being too reliant on only one vaccine company, AstraZeneca, as it was the only company that gave the vaccine production authority to the Thai medicine-produced company ‘Siam Bioscience’, owned by the Crown Property Bureau under the king’s personal control.
Deputy Minister Nevin Chochaithip told reporters this afternoon that the former politician had reportedly conveyed about 11 false and misleading statements, causing confusion and instability of the government under Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O’Cha, and, according to the government, crucially ruining the reputation of the monarchy institution.
The Deputy said: “His statement deliberately attacked a royal vaccine for political purposes. The allegation is considered an offense under section 112 of the Criminal Code for defaming, insulting, or displaying malice for the King, Queen, members of the royal family, or an appointed official.”
“Putting such false information online also violated section 14 of the Computer Crime Act, which we have already filed against Thanathon.”
Nevin further stated that the Prime Minister has strictly ordered the use of all law against those who are attempting to publish or distribute any misleading information regarding the royal institution as well as the royal vaccination. They will also take legal action if found guilty.
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