THE NATIONAL Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) yesterday denied it was discriminating against or bullying pro-democracy Facebook page administrators related to the Future Forward Party and its leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, by pursuing a case of alleged violation of the Computer Crime law.
The charges brought against the administrators of the Facebook pages “The Future We Want” and “Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit” followed normal legal procedures, NCPO spokesman Maj-General Piyapong Klinpan said.
“When the security force finds any violations of the law or threats to security, the legal department of the NCPO files a complaint with the Technology Crime Suppression Division [TCSD],” he said. “There’s nothing special.”
Thanathorn and some of the party’s executives on Tuesday went to the TCSD office to meet police over a Facebook live broadcast, which the NCPO contends violated the computer crime law. In the video, Thanathorn discussed the current move by the NCPO to ostensibly woo former MPs into its party.
The content on the Facebook pages had some information that was inconsistent with the truth hence legal action was initiated, the NCPO spokesman said. The content could create misunderstanding among the public, he argued.
The case has stirred up considerable criticism. Critics view it as an attempt to harass the pro-democracy party ahead of the election.
Piyapan said the NCPO had done everything within the boundaries of the law. “The NCPO has tried to serve the majority of the people. But if someone tries to distort the truth or cause public panic, it [NCPO] has to come out to create understanding,” he explained. In response to Thanathorn’s comments about coups, the spokesman said that the NCPO and the government were just trying to work and find solutions to bring stability and peace to the country.
Apart from the issue with the Future Forward Party, the NCPO had also been strict with any form of political expression. Pichai Nariptaphan, a former energy minister and a member of Pheu Thai Party, was recently summoned by the military over some Facebook posts.
Piyapong explained that the NCPO did not discriminate against any particular group and there were no plans to detain anyone for attitude adjustment.