AMNAT CHAROEN — A policeman was placed in solitary confinement as a punishment for posting a video parody of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, police said Friday.
Police Senior Sergeant Major Samart Pimpakon, who works in Amnat Charoen province, will be jailed for three days starting from today for his mockery of the Prime Minister, according to a provincial police chief. He added that Samart regretted his action.
“We asked him and he said he did it for fun. He felt guilty. Since he is a police officer, and he took the video at his workplace, it was wrong,” Amnat Charoen police commander Maj Gen Suvicharn Yankittikul said in an interview.
Suvicharn said he ordered the detention as a disciplinary action.
In a series of videos posted to TikTok application, Samart lampoons several people who spoke at the recent no-confidence debate inside the Parliament.
One of them shows Samart lip synching some of Prayut’s speech while dressed in a military uniform and short pants. He also exaggerated Prayut’s speaking styles and smiles.
ใครนอนไม่หลับ ดูคลิปนี้แล้วหลับสบาย….. pic.twitter.com/rO8OCH3JCV
— pokkytoday (@pokkytoday) March 5, 2020
The videos have since been deleted, but copies of them were widely shared on social media.
Police Spokesman Col Kissana Phathacharoen said Samart broke police’s regulations on code of conducts, and he was punished accordingly.
“Besides having to abide by the laws, police are governed under Police Act, as well as the code of conducts. It’s disciplinary punishment,” Col. Kissana said on Friday.
In a letter of confession made on Wednesday, Samart expressed his contrition and “promise not to cause difficulties” to his commanding officers in the future.
Mocking Gen. Prayut led to legal actions in the past. In 2016, eight people were arrested for running a Facebook page that lampoons Prayut. A year later, an activist was charged after he posted a satirical online poll targeting the then-junta chief.
In June 2019, police officers also visited the home of a French expat who posted a parody video of Prayut’s hit song “Returning Happiness to the People.”