Thai authorities threaten jail for Like Facebook posts


    The Thai police launched an investigation into four people on charges of panic - they wrote on Facebook about a possible military coup and called for water and food supplies, according to The Washington Post. Police threaten to accuse even those who simply like these posts.

    Major General Pisit Paoin, chief of the technology crime prevention police department, said the four defendants posted on Facebook with false information that could harm the state. If convicted, they face up to five years in prison and a fine of 100 thousand baht (3200 dollars).

    “These four published false messages about the coup and other messages that could lead to chaos in society,” Pisit said at a press conference. "The messages were completely untrue, and if they were distributed, they could harm the country."

    Bangkok is now in protest over a 2006 bill. Opponents of the bill say its adoption could pave the way for the return of former Prime Minister Thaksin Chinnawatra, who was overthrown by the military in 2006 and whose sister is now leading the government.

    Facebook posts said that perhaps a new coup was being prepared and that supplies of food and water should be made. “Those who like and share these messages will also be charged, so we would like to ask the public to be very careful when using social media,” Pisit added.

    In Thailand, the Computer Crime Act has been in force since 2007, which provides for liability for hacking and other traditional online crimes. In addition, it imposes a restriction on the distribution of materials that are considered harmful to national security or cause panic.

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