Military: Sedition charges not political persecution

Military: Sedition charges not political persecution

Maj Gen Thanathip Sawangsaeng, spokesman of the Internal Security Operations Command, speaks to reporters at the Isoc head office in Bangkok on Monday. (Photo supplied)
Maj Gen Thanathip Sawangsaeng, spokesman of the Internal Security Operations Command, speaks to reporters at the Isoc head office in Bangkok on Monday. (Photo supplied)

The Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) has denied it is persecuting opposition political parties in laying a sedition complaint over their public forum in the far South that discussed constitutional change.

Isoc spokesman Maj Gen Thanathip Sawangsaeng said on Monday that no one ordered that legal action be taken. He insisted Isoc was not abusing its power to persecute the opposition parties. 

The sedition complaint by Isoc's southern forward command was filed with police in Pattani province last Thursday against 12 people who shared their views on the constitution during the opposition's charter change discussion in front of the provincial hall on Sept 28.

One academic who took part in the discussion referred to the possibility of amending Section 1 of the constitution, which requires that Thailand remain an indivisible kingdom.

"Isoc does not see the people as an enemy, but it does abide by the law. Words spoken at the constitution amendment forum in Pattani caused concerns," Maj Gen Thanathip said.

Asked why Isoc filed its sedition complaint against 12 speakers at the discussion even though the controversial remark came from a single academic, Maj Gen Thanathip said the legal division of Isoc's southern forward command might have enough evidence to support its complaint against all those people.

The court would judge if any party should be held responsible, he said.

Rejecting calls for Isoc's reform, Maj Gen Thanathip said the security command had been reformed in 2009, and again during 2016 and 2017, to support solutions to national problems.

"We do not need any additional reform, but can broaden our context and efforts to create understanding," the Isoc spokesman said.



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