11 July 2024

Former member of the Thailand’s National Human Rights Commission, Angkhana Neelaphaijit, together with a Human Rights activist, Unchana Heemmina have filed a civil defamation lawsuit defamation against the Office of the Thailand’s Prime Minister.

They claim the Government’s Information Operation (IO) published distorted information and defamed Unchana, a Human Right activist, through the website Puliny.blogspot.com.

Unchana is also a former member of the National Human Rights Commission for the south.

They said they are suing the Office of the Prime Minister because it is responsible for the Internal Security Operations Command, or ISOC, which, in February, admitted involvement with the website in question.

In February, a spokesperson for ISOC said, during a press conference, that the unit had funded the website Puliny.blogspot.com, with the intention to disseminate accurate information, educate the public about official operations and build understanding among in society. It claimed the main objective was to encourage human rights and peace.

However, ISOC stated that the website was not operated by the army or ISOC, as a former Future Forward MP, Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn, had claimed.

Puliny.blogspot.com, now offline, was a website which published stories and “news” about the southernmost provinces of Thailand. In February, it received over 2 million visits, and published reports in several languages.

Angkhana claims that, every time they express an opinion about the security officials, when they feel that people’s rights have been violated, the website always fires back with, what she claims, is false information that vilifies the activists.

The example Unchana gave was when she reported on incidents of torture in the southern border provinces. She was then attacked, using false information from the website, and she claimed that her family was threatened.

In this lawsuit, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha is the main defendant, with the Army as co-defendant.