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PM revokes order to gag free speech

BANGKOK: A ban on activities vaguely termed as “the dissemination of information that may frighten people”, imposed under the emergency decree, has been revoked, following a court injunction against it.

By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 11 August 2021, 08:54AM

Prayut: Accused of misconduct. Photo: Bangkok Post

Prayut: Accused of misconduct. Photo: Bangkok Post

Signed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, the revocation of the 29th announcement was published on the Royal Gazette website and took effect on Monday (Aug 9).

State officials responsible for controlling the COVID-19 situation may instead use other regulations to deal with misinformation, which has been hindering their work, said the revocation announcement.

The Civil Court in Bangkok on Friday slapped an injunction on the prime ministerial order issued against the media that went into effect on July 30.

It said the term “dissemination of information that may frighten people” was too ambiguous and broad, and resulted in the unnecessary deprivation of people’s rights and freedoms.

The injunction was in response to a petition submitted by 12 online media outlets and human rights lawyers who claimed the order threatened accurate media coverage and freedom of expression.

Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) officials said they had not yet enforced the regulation against anyone and could use other laws, which the court mentioned

The prime minister therefore decided to revoke the prime ministerial order.

Dive Supply Co., Ltd.

The opposition, meanwhile, is petitioning the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to take action against Gen Prayut, accusing him of committing malfeasance by approving the order.

“After studying the court ruling, we have found that Gen Prayut’s actions involved misconduct on at least four counts,” chief opposition whip Sutin Klungsang said yesterday after submitting the petition to the NACC.

They were infringements against the public’s freedom to receive news and information as stated in Section 36 of the charter, malfeasance as stated in Section 172 of the National Anti-Corruption Act, dereliction of duty as stated in Section 157 of the Criminal Code and a violation of the ethical code of state officials, Mr Sutin said.

He said he was petitioning the NACC to investigate this misconduct and forwarding the case to the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions along with a request to impeach Gen Prayut.

If the court accepts the case for trial, Gen Prayut will therefore be required to immediately step down, at least temporarily, as prime minister, said Mr Sutin, adding he was confident this petition will eventually lead to the premier’s impeachment.

Media outlets that joined the Human Rights Lawyer Alliance in signing the petition included: The Reporters, VoiceTV, The Standard, The Momentum, The Matter, Prachatai, Dem All, The People, Way Magazine, Echo and Plus Seven.

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JohnC | 12 August 2021 - 09:34:35

The media should do a total black-out of his speeches. Gagging him would go along way to stopping the "dissemination of information that may frighten people".

Xi_Virus | 11 August 2021 - 13:47:04

Common fact when nation's money is spent on Luxury Cars, Properties, WATCHES, and you name it..

Soon the generals have bought half of Singapore & HK real estates! 

What is left goes to Xhinese subs and vax!


Xi_Virus | 11 August 2021 - 13:30:07

Kurt: You're correct BUT pls don't be selfish. It's about 60+ million Thais who have been suffering during past years due to INCOMPETENT and CORRUPT officials.

Thais Do NOT deserve this miserable situation that govt has put them to and converted the Kingdom of Thailand to Little CCP Xhina!

Thais deserve DEMCRACY and FREEDOM.

Kurt | 11 August 2021 - 10:34:57

Prawit already moved to less important function. Now people busy bit by bit sawing the chair legs of Prayut. Prayut himself gives the tools to opposition to weaken him. The convicted 'flour export ' RTP Captain-Minister ( international condemned) and Anutin ( not taken serious) will follow.  The THB is soon going through the border of 40 Baht for 1 Euro. Interesting times coming up, slowly...


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