On 30 May, outspoken government critic Lakkana “Kam Phaka” Punwichai tweeted:
“Mom called. She said the police came to our Chiang Mai home. They told the village head they are here on duty. They took photos and left.”
The incident is an illustration of Thailand’s rule of fear.
Presently, the target is no longer just leading activists. After all, they have already been charged with lese majeste, computer crime, sedition, and many other crimes, including violation of public cleanliness.
Family members and government critics are now targeted.
The mother of Panussaya “Rung” Sitthijirawattanakul faces charges over violation of the emergency decree for not observing physical distance when protested for the release of her daughter.
General Prayut Chan-o-cha is suing outspoken talkshow host John Winyu for allegedly defaming the general. The charges include “wrongfully” accusing General Prayut of lacking transparency as prime minister, all the way back to when he was the military junta.
Famed singer Suthipongse “Heart” Thatphithakkul faces lese majeste and computer crime for allegedly posting criticisms about “the boss” over COVID-19 vaccine management.
Remember the name Apiwat Kantong, the lawyer representing General Prayut. This name will often appear in the news and will strike fear into the hearts of anyone who dare to criticize General Prayut.
Meanwhile, the Digital Economy and Society Ministry (DES) is after Accap Assets and government critic Duangrit Bunnag for allegedly fabricating documents and spreading fake news about the Sinopharm vaccine.
The rule of fear is such an endemic talkshow host ML Nattakorn Devakula said that he had the clips in which he discussed Accap Assets deleted.
Because we never know what’s legal or illegal.