Ridiculing The Dictator not sedition

In a tiny piece of news that suggests that someone, somewhere in the military junta’s network has an ounce of sense still lurking, the military court “has dismissed a sedition charge against a red shirt who posted a rumour about the junta head [The Dictator, General Prayuth Chan-ocha]…”.

At the time we called this sedition charge the equivalent of lese dictateur, with Prayuth seeming to allocate a royal-like status to his own person.

Rinda Parichabutr isn’t off scot-free, however, as the court seems to have ruled that her post “constitutes defamation, not the instigation of violence.” Rinda was “arrested on 8 July 2015 for spreading a[n allegedly] false rumour through social networks that Gen Prayut … and his wife had deposited about 10 billion baht in a secret bank account in Singapore…”.

She was “charged on 3 counts: sedition, under Article 116 of the Criminal Code [sedition]; spreading rumours that might cause public panic, under Article 384 of the Criminal Code; and importing false information into the internet, under Article 14 (2) of the Computer Crimes Act.” Presumably she still faces that latter two charges and possibly a defamation case.

At least these cases are likely to be before a civilian court.


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