Celebrity Rapper Fined Over Tweet Criticizing PM Prayut

Primer Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha filed a lawsuit against a young singer who criticized him on social media.

Danupa “Milli” Kanaterrakul, a 18-years-old rapper, face defamation charges over her tweets questioning Gen Prayut’s handling of the pandemic.

She arrived at the Nang Lerng police station in Bangkok on Thursday morning after being summoned to acknowledge the charges related to the tweets she wrote in late June.

The singer pledge guilty and was fined 2,000 baht.

But it was not the first time the prime minister decided to take legal action against celebrities.

As the Covid-19 situation worsens and people’s discontent grows, actors and other personalities have faced mounting pressure to help Thais call out for enhanced quality of life, health crisis management and proper medical treatment.

On July 9, a head for one of Gen Prayut’s committees, Apiwat Kanthong, filed a complaint against the rapper on behalf of the Thailand’s primer.

However, the move had been widely criticized.

Asst Prof Pornsant Liangboonlertchai at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Law said he disagreed with the charges, adding that the cabinet was not a private entity.
He explained that public officials must represent people.

Also, Faculty of Law’s former dean at Chulalongkorn University Tongthong Chandransu wrote on Facebook that the government cannot be the damaged party in a criminal case because “it is not a juristic person.”

According to deputy Bangkok’s police chief, authorities were considering similar allegations involving 25 more celebrities.

On Tuesday, Digital Economy Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn asked public figures not to spread false information on social media and avoid exploiting “their advantage for their political agenda by attacking the government.”

Mr. Apiwat was appointed by Gen Prayut to chair a 10-member committee last year.

Such committee has to monitor and take legal action against those who disseminate fake news or distort information against the cabinet.

According to official reports, it has filed hundreds of complaints.

Most of the defamation charges that celebrities and influencers now face had been filed under the Criminal Code and Computer Crime Law.

Some people had been legally prosecuted over royal insult.

But critics say the committee’s set up might not be legitimate as it has used taxpayer’s money in their legal actions.