Thailand: Army looking to press Lèse majesté charges against ‘Facebook 8’ activists

THE army in Thailand is mulling to press royal defamation charges against eight people who have been accused of running anti-government Facebook pages.

The ‚Facebook 8‘, as they are now known, were nabbed from their homes by soldiers earlier this week, and are already facing sedition charges, apart from committing alleged offences under the Computer Crime Act.

According to Khaosod English, the eight individuals who were linked to the Red Shirt movement will be tried in a military court. Their lawyer claims they have not been treated fairly.

Yesterday, a commander of the police’s Crime Suppression unit, Maj. Gen. Chayapol Chatchaidej, said that two of the eight suspects had made postings that appeared critical of the monarchy. Contravention of Thailand’s lèse majesté law carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail.

Chayapol said the military may file the Lèse majesté  charges on the duo.

SEE ALSO: Thai junta makes it clear it is not interested in democracy

The report in Khaosod named the eight suspects: Nattatika Worathaiwit, Kannasitthi Tangboonthina, Noppakao Kongsuwan, Worawit Saksamutnand, Yothin Mangkangsa-nga, Thanawat Buranasiri, Suphachai Saibutr, and Harit Mahaton.

Their lawyer Winyat Chartmontree said he was barred from meeting the suspects who were distressed by police interrogation on Thursday. Instead, the suspects were represented by a lawyer that was assigned by the police.

“Actually, according to procedure, when suspects request their own lawyer, they must get one. And in a normal situation, law enforcement officers would have done so,” Winyat was quoted saying.

All of the suspects had been accused of receiving funds to discredit the junta government under Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha.

In relation to the detentions, police were also gathering evidence to seek warrants for the arrest of Red Shirt leader Jatuporn Prompan and army critic Sombat Boon-ngamanong for purportedly making offensive postings on social media, according to the Bangkok Post today.

One of the eight detained suspects, …

Sourced through Scoop.it from: asiancorrespondent.com

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