Police to Summon Rappers Who Criticized Military Govt

Image: Rap Against Dictatorship / YouTube
Image: Rap Against Dictatorship / YouTube

BANGKOK — A group of rappers that released a song lambasting the junta earlier this week may have broken the law, a deputy police chief said Friday.

Deputy police chief Pol. Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said there’s a “50 percent chance” the song “My Country’s Got” (“Prathet Ku Mee“) by Rappers Against Dictatorship may have violated a junta order. Srivara did not elaborate on what order the song could have breached. In the 5-minute piece, the group of 10 take turns mocking and criticizing the junta’s rule.

Read: With ‘My Country’s Got,’ Thai Rap Voices Rare Dissent Against Junta

“Let me warn musicians to not do anything risky against the laws because it won’t be good for you and your family if it’s found that there was wrongdoing,” Srivara said.

He added that police would summon the rappers and that they were investigating the matter. Some junta critics have been charged with sedition since the May 2014 coup. The YouTube music video had been watched more than 840,000 times by Friday morning.

Rapper and co-producer Pratchayaa Surakamchonrot said Tuesday that he doesn’t believe the song violates the law. He said however that four of 10 rappers chose to remain anonymous for fear of facing a backlash from the junta.

Pratchayaa said Friday morning that he and his collaborators would not report to police until formally summoned.

The developments came two days after Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai told reporters other countries are amazed that the current administration is run by “a coup government but gives [citizens] full freedom.”