The Nation



Critic's Facebook page suspended; cartoonist 'ignores' summonses

Thammasat University academic Somsak Jeamteerasakul's Facebook account has been suspended for 30 days, leading to widespread criticism on social media.

Facebook user Phakjira Slk, claiming to have been asked by Somsak, posted a message on the academic's page saying the account had been suspended on Wednesday morning because he allegedly criticised Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra for suing Thai Rath cartoonist Chai Rachawat.

"I want to confirm that I am against Yingluck for filing the lawsuit against Chai Rachawat. This lawsuit is in contradiction to the spirit of democracy," is the message Somsak posted on his page. He also said that the libel lawsuit was a waste of public money.

Many of his supporters spread the message widely on social media, though some said they were glad his access to Facebook had been blocked.

In the message via Phakjira Slk, Somsak said his account had been suspended because somebody had reported him as having violated Facebook's terms and conditions, adding that he was afraid he would be framed again if he were to register for a new page.

Police summonses

Meanwhile, the cartoonist has not responded to police summonses after Yingluck sued him for libel, deputy director of the Metropolitan Police Bureau Maj-General Anuchai Lekbamrung said yesterday.

Anuchai said the Metropolitan Investigation Committee had issued a summonses on Wednesday for Somchai Katanyutanan, or Chai Rachawat, to report on June 5 for further questioning and acknowledging the allegations.

The allegations of insulting government official on duty, commercial libel and violation of the Computer Act compel the cartoonist to report to the investigation committee. If he fails to show up on two occasions, the committee will be forced to seek an arrest warrant for him.

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