Thai Government to file criminal complaint of defamation against opposition figure, Mr. Thanathorn


Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society said on January 20, 2021 that it will file a criminal complaint of defamation against Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, who is a banned politician, for defaming the country’s monarchy. 
It was not specified by the digital ministry as to what actions should be taken against the politician but the complaint has been made regarding the comments made by Mr. Thanathorn about the government’s vaccine strategy. 
A wave of anti government protests took place last year and the king was criticised for taking too much power and meddling in the political matters. The punishment for defaming or insulting the Thai king is upto 15 years in prison according to the Thai’s royal defamation law. The official ministry sent a memo to the reporters. 
Mr. Thanathorn was banned from politics for 10 years in 2020. He criticised Thailand’s covid-19 vaccine strategy. He said that the company on which Thailand is relying for vaccination is under King’s personal control. The Prime Minister said that anyone who spreads distorted information regarding vaccination should be prosecuted. 
Mr. Thanathorn made the comments on an event which was broadcasted live on Facebook. The Progressive Movement has said that no insulting comment has been made by him. One of the leaders of Progressive movement said that Article 112 is once again being used as a political tool. Thailand has the world’s toughest royal defamation laws which protects the monarchy. Many leaders have demanded abolition of the law. In 2017, a man was sentenced for imprisonment for 35 years for a series of facebook posts about the royal family. It has been objected several times at global level that such laws have no place in democracy. 


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