As many as 25 Thai celebrities have been or are being investigated over their criticism of the government and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, especially concerning the currently inadequate national vaccine rollout and other pandemic measures, said Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Pol Maj-Gen Piya Tavichai today (Thursday).
The trend of celebrities calling out the government on various issues on their social media, which have huge followings, known as “Celeb Callouts”, has been intensified by a lawsuit filed by Mr. Prayut’s lawyer against a rapper “Milli” over her online posts targeting the government and the prime minister. The Thai hashtag #SaveMilli has been used in over a million tweets.
18-year-old Danupha Khanatheerakul reported to police today to hear the charge of defamation. She was fined 2,000 Baht.
According to Pol Maj-Gen Piya, the list submitted by the prime minister’s lawyer to police will be divided into two groups. Those who called out specific members of the government may be subject to defamation charges, while others may be subject to charges under computer crime regulations for entering false information into a computer system.
An increasing number of actors and singers are criticising the government as new record numbers of infections are being logged each day, with the current wave being many times more severe than last year. Some have even apologised for joining the anti-government protests against the Yingluck Shinawatra administration, which are believed to have led to the 2014 coup, led by Gen. Prayut.
Actor Krunphol “Petch” Tiansuwan, who is on the list, posted on Instagram yesterday saying that he is not afraid of a police summons and that he will sue both the complainant and police officer involved.
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