THAILAND: On the Cases Related to Computer-Related Crime Act 

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) wishes to forward to you the following press release from the Thai Netizen Network (TNN) under Computer-related Crime Act of B.E.2550.

For further information, see recent AHRC statements on the raid of independent news outlet Prachatai and arrest of its director (AHRC-STM-051-2009AHRC-STM-054-2009), on lese-majesty (AHRC-STM-028-2009), and a statement of the Asian Legal Resource Centre to the UN Human Rights Council on the resurrection of the internal-security state in Thailand (ALRC-CWS-10-04-2009). See also a recent column on UPI Asia on the computer crime law.

Asian Human Rights Commission
Hong Kong


A Press Release from Thai Netizen Network (TNN) forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) 

Thai Netizen Network’s Press Release: On the Cases

There are several Internet users who have been charged for violating the Computer-related Crime Act of B.E. 2550 since it was enacted in June 18, 2007. Most charges are based on an obscure legislation that leads to unclear interpretation and implementation of the Act. Consequently, netizens are put into the climate of fear.

Excerpt from Computer-related Crime Act of B.E. 2550:

Section 14 If any person commits any offence of the following acts shall be subject to imprisonment for not more than five years or a fine of not more than one hundred thousand baht or both:
(2) That involves import to a computer system of false computer data in a manner that is likely to damage the country’s security or cause a public panic

Section 15 Any service provider intentionally supporting or consenting to an offence under Section 14 within a computer system under their control shall be subject to the same penalty as that imposed upon a person committing an offence under Section 14.

The current status of the cases:

1. The case of Suwicha Thakor

Suwicha, male, 34-year-old engineer, was arrested for violating Computer-related Crime Act and Section 112 of the Criminal Code in January 14, 2009. The Criminal court later considered Suwicha guilty and sentenced him to 20 years in jail but since he pleaded guilty so the punishment was reduced to 10 years. After the verdict, Suwicha decided not to appeal and intended to request for a royal pardon.
However, as the state attorneys have requested the Criminal Court to extend the period of filing an appeal, which ended by May 3 to June 1, the case has not yet finished. The procedure of seeking royal pardon had to be suspended, consequently

2. The case of Chiranuch Premchaiyaporn

Chiranuch, female, 42-year-old director and web moderator of the independent online-newspaper Prachatai,, was charged on March 6, 2009 under the Computer-related Crime Act Section 15. Her charges resulted from allowing comments deemed lese majeste to remain on the web board for more than the limited period, set by the police.
Chiranuch, however, denied all allegations, insisting her innocence as she immediately removed the comments when she was instructed and has always collaborated with the police.
The police now will submit the charges to the state attorneys and that Chiranuch has to report herself and get bail from the authority at the Office of the Attorney-General on Ratchadapisek road on June 1, 2009 at 2pm onward.

Thai Netizen Network (TNN) considers the legal actions against these cases are very significant to the liberty of Internet citizens and Thai society. As a result, TNN would like to urge all netizens and the public to monitor the cases closely and carefully.

Also, TNN would like to urge the authorities concerned to treat the cases with careful consideration on the principles of human rights and humanity. As the cases are related to the right to hold opinion, political expression and press freedom, which are guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, these cases are distinctive from other ordinary criminal offences and that deserve careful treatment with the consideration of human rights.

26 May 2009
Thai Netizen Network (TNN)

To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER


Document Type : Press Release
Document ID : AHRC-FPR-024-2009
Countries : Thailand,
Campaigns : Chiranuch Premchaiporn (Prachatai)