Politicians warn action against anti-junta rap music could backfire as police weigh legal action
As authorities are weighing legal action against rappers of a controversial anti-dictatorship music video that has become the talk of the town in recent days, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva cautioned that any attempt to block the on-line video would only attract more viewership.
As a fan of rap music, Abhisit apparently sees no harm from the music video whose lyric was openly critical of the current military dictatorship. The song was created by a rap group known as “Rap Against Dictatorship” and became an overnight sensation after it was posted on Youtube late last week and so far has generated more than 6 million views.
Abhisit said the music group only wanted to use the song to reflect the feelings of people in the society.
“Such rapping is normal. People have the right whether to like it or hate it. Restricting free expression is certainly not right,” said Abhisit, adding that those who believe that the music video is illegal must be able to explain why it is illegal.
Meanwhile, Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) deputy spokesman Pol Col Siriwat Deepor admitted that the issue is sensitive and police are studying the content of the song to determine whether any part of it is in violation of the law.
He claimed that police had information about the backgrounds of the rappers and the song composer, but declined to elaborate.
While maintaining that all of them are still in the country, the deputy spokesman said police would not invite any of them for questioning until they have collected enough evidence to substantiate a case against them.
From his examination of the music video, he said he felt the song was a violation of the computer crime law.
He also urged netizens not to share the music video, waning that they might break the law for doing so.
Future Forward party leader Thanathorn Jungroongruangkit, meanwhile, said expressing political opinions should be a normal thing.
Although there might be some impolite wordings in the lyric, he said the rap group might not be happy with the ruling government and chose to express their resentment through their rap music.
He warned that any attempt to block the song or the music video would backfire on the government.