The Prime Minister has ordered the police and government officials to prevent a third party from intervening and causing an unwanted situation for political gain at antigovernment protests, while the center to solve the emergency has stressed that all political gatherings are illegal, so is the sharing of fake news.
Government Spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said that Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha remarked that demonstration is within the rights and freedoms of the people, but must be within the rule of law, and has asked government officials to watch out for ill-intentioned people who may seek to create a violent situation for their political gain.
The PM said the government is willing to listen to issues from all sides, and is committed to solving existing issues faced by the general public.
The Royal Thai Police Deputy Spokesman Pol Col Krissana Pattanacharern said the sharing of misinformation via online platforms, with the intention to create misunderstanding, is considered a violation to the severe emergency situation order number 4, with those found guilty facing imprisonment or up to a 40,000 baht fine. Violators will also be liable to punishments under the Computer Crime Act, with up to 5 year imprisonment or up to a 100,000 baht fine. These punishments are applicable to both the posters and sharers of such content.
The Metropolitan Police Bureau Deputy Commissioner Pol Maj Gen Piya Tawichai said the police have prepared response plans for the protestors’ new tactic, of holding protests at different locations every day, in order to minimize the impact on the general public.
He said the police find it necessary to deploy uniformed and plainclothes officers to ensure safety, and to prevent a third any party from creating unwanted situations.
On the prosecution of protestors, the police will start gradually issuing arrest warrants according to available evidence, while warning that protests in other provinces outside Bangkok are still considered a violation of the Public Assembly Act, despite not being subjected to the Severe State of Emergency announced in Bangkok. (NNT)