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15 Mar 2017

Prachatai (Thailand)

Thailand: Govt. agency files complaints against people expressing health concerns over power plants on social media

"EGAT files lawsuits against power plant opponents", 14 Mar 2017

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) has filed defamation lawsuits against people accusing it of causing environmental destruction...Assistant Governor of EGAT’s Legal Affairs Bureau, revealed that EGAT had filed 15 complaints to the police against people posting content on social media accusing its power plants of pollution leading to sickness and death.  EGAT accused them of violating Article 326 of the Criminal Code, the law against criminal defamation, and Article 14 of the 2007 Computer Crime Act, the law against the importation of false computer content. EGAT legal staff said that well-intended criticisms are acceptable, but not false accusations...[T]he Energy Ministry aims to increase power system reliability by reducing dependence on natural gas, increasing the use of coal via ‘clean coal technology’, importing power from neighbouring countries, and developing renewable energy...But for many environmental groups, such plans could affect local communities living next to proposed coal-fired power plants, which could also cause irreversible environmental damage...