Police seek activist Veera over Facebook survey

Veera Somkwamkid, pictured here at a Feb 5 seminar on fighting corruption, faces years in prison for posting the result of conversations with his Facebook followers. (Post Today photo)

Police are searching for rights and anti-corruption activist, Veera Somkwamkid, who is facing an arrest warrant for allegedly violating the Computer Crime Act by posting a Facebook survey result suggesting most people lack confidence in the government and the prime minister.

A source said the Criminal Court approved a warrant on Thursday for the arrest of Mr Veera, accused of spreading false information online causing damage to the public.

The Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) found the survey was conducted on the Facebook page of someone using a Thai account named Veera Somkhwamkid, which was later found to be Mr Veera's, and some Facebook users responded to the questionnaire posted.

Results of the survey were later posted on a Facebook page using the English account named Veera Somkwanmkid, which the TCSD said also belongs to Mr Veera.

The police believe that because Mr Veera is a well-known figure, the information he posted on his Facebook page could mislead netizens and cause damage to both the government and the PM, said the source. That was behind their decision to seek a warrant.

The TCSD found the results of the survey he published were opinions from only a single group of respondents, which could not be reliably regarded as representing the real situation, said the source.

In the questionnaire posted on Mr Veera's Facebook page with his Thai name, Mr Veera asked people to answer which of eight given choices they thought was correct, said the source.

The first seven choices were phrases taken from the National Council for Peace and Order's (NCPO) song called Rao Cha Tham Tam Sanya (we are fulfilling our promises), while the last choice was "all the above choices are wrong", said the source.

A total of 123 Facebook users replied on Facebook to the question and most of them opted for the last choice.

The police visited Mr Veera's home in Khannayao district of Bangkok after the arrest warrant was approved but he was nowhere to be found.

He later wrote on his Facebook page that he intends to meet TCSD investigators on Wednesday.

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