Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Online provocateurs seeking violence at rallies, police warn

Oct 20. 2020
Police spokesman Pol Col Siriwat Deepor
Police spokesman Pol Col Siriwat Deepor
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By The Nation

The Digital Economy and Society Ministry has asked police to take action against 58 social media accounts for “inciting unrest”, in violation of Bangkok’s special emergency decree, said the Severe State of Emergency Joint Operation Centre on Tuesday.

Police spokesman Pol Col Siriwat Deepor said fake news was being spread via anonymous Twitter accounts to incite looting during ongoing political demonstrations.

“Chats in Twitter are claiming this kind of action [looting] occurs during rallies abroad. They are persuading participants to destroy government and private property at rally sites to raise the level of protest,” Siriwat said.

“We are concerned over this behaviour and would like to warn people who attend rallies not to become a tool of the bad guys who are trying to provoke these actions. Besides violating the emergency decree, such offences constitute theft, robbery, or causing loss of property under the Criminal Code.”

Meanwhile those using online channels to instigate violence at rallies would be prosecuted under the Computer Crimes Act and the emergency decree,” he said.

Several online provocateurs were under investigation but many netizens were also warning against committing violence at protests, he added.

“We would like to thank you for your mindfulness in warning each other as a precautionary measure against third-party or malicious intervention,” Siriwat told the press.

Meanwhile deputy Bangkok police chief Piya Tawichai said no order had been given to cancel the emergency decree by 6pm on Tuesday, as demanded by protesters. He added that police were preparing for the “surprise” protesters promised at Tuesday’s rally.

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