Veera blasts arrest warrant
published : 16 Mar 2017 at 04:00
newspaper section: News
Rights and anti-corruption activist Veera Somkwamkid has cried foul over an arrest warrant he faces in connection with internet survey findings he published showing people's alleged lack of confidence in the government.
Mr Veera turned up at the Technology Crime Suppression Division, accompanied by his lawyer, Boonthorn Upanant, to answer charges of spreading false information online causing damage to the public.
The Criminal Court approved the warrant last week at the request of police.
Mr Veera said yesterday he had no intention of harming anyone by posting the survey he conducted on a Facebook page using his Thai account named Veera Somkhwamkid.
The result of the survey on the government's popularity was posted on another Facebook page using the English language account named Veera Somkwamkid.
The survey comprised seven questions taken from the lyrics of the National Council for Peace and Order's song, Rao Cha Tham Tam Sanya (we are fulfilling our promises), while the last choice was "all the above choices are wrong", it was reported.
A total of 123 Facebook users replied to the questions and most of them opted for the last choice.
A source said that because Mr Veera is a well-known figure, the information he posted on his Facebook page could mislead netizens and damage both the government and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
That was behind the police decision to seek a warrant.
Mr Veera insisted the warrant amounted to a gag order, which goes against national reconciliation efforts the the government is trying to promote.
"This is not reconciliation. Reconciliation means gestures of friendship and rapport," he said.
The activist added the police should have issued a summons instead of an arrest warrant because he posed no flight risk as he lives at a permanent address and could be easily located.
Gen Prayut said earlier Mr Veera should have been more careful with information he posted to avoid breaking the law.
Mr Veera was released on bail of 100,000 baht.