Unjustified media pursuit
Police made poor decisions in suggesting they would charge the Samui Times website over the Koh Tao rape allegations, and in threatening other media as well. There are two reasons they are wrong. The first is that there is no "fake news" or false reporting involved. Secondly, the threat to bring criminal charges in this case will harm the country's image many times more than the reporting of the incident ever could.
At the weekend an arrest warrant was issued against the "publisher" of the Samui Times, British subject Suzanne Buchanan. For the second time in a year, officers have found that she can't be found on Koh Tao, Koh Samui or anywhere in Thailand. Nevertheless, they hope to press charges under the Computer Crime Act (CCA) for entering false information into a computer, tarnishing the reputation of Koh Tao.
The problem is that police of Surat Thani and Provincial Police Region 8 are barking up the wrong tree. Their accusations against the media are wrong from the start. Neither the Samui Times website nor other media have reported falsely on the case at hand. It involves a two-part accusation by the mother of a 19-year-old British backpacker who visited Thailand in June and July. It is fact that she alleged her daughter was raped on the Koh Tao beach and then, subsequently, that police in Koh Phangan flatly refused to take her complaint about it.
Bangkok Post editorial column
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