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A 40-year-old man has been charged under the royal defamation law and Computer-Related Crime Act over his comment on a Facebook post inviting people to greet King Vajiralongkorn during a royal motorcade at Don Muang Royal Thai Air Force Base in 2021.

On 6 July 2023, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights reported that Pui (pseudonym) and his wife went to the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) to acknowledge the charges which stem from his comment in ‘Royalist Marketplace  - Talad Luang’ FB group, inviting people to greet King Vajiralongkorn and the Queen during a royal motorcade at Don Muang Royal Thai Air Force Base.

Pui received a summons from the TCSD dated 21 June 2023, after Thakun Nuankaeo, former spokesperson of the Vocational Student Group for the Protection of the Institution, filed a complaint.

The inquiry officer stated that on 14 January 2022, Thakun joined the ‘Royalist Marketplace - Talad Luang’ FB group, and came across a user’s post from 19 November 2021.

The post said normally, wherever there is a royal motorcade, there would be a PR team arranging people to attend the event. But this time there was no government agency publicizing the event. The FB user expressed concern for the monarch, fearing that there would be no one to greet him. He believed that if the King and Queen saw many people waiting to greet them, they would be delighted for sure.

Another FB user commented under this post on the same day. Thakun said the comment used offensive language that could be seen as an intention to harm and show disrespect towards the King. Thakun filed a complaint and requested that the inquiry officers proceed with legal action.

The inquiry officers identified the FB user who posted the comment as Pui and notified him of the charges. The inquiry officers said Pui’s actions constitute the offence of defamation, insulting, or showing malicious intent towards the King, and importing into a computer system computer data that is related to offences concerning national security or terrorism under the Criminal Code.

Pui denied all charges and will submit written testimony within 30 days. The inquiry officers have released Pui and will schedule a date for submitting the investigation report to the public prosecutor.

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