Citylife’s Editor Not to be Prosecuted
CityNews – Following an incident which occurred in March 2018, today Citylife’s editor Pim Kemasingki received an official letter from the Chang Phueak Police Station informing her that she will not be prosecuted.
In late March, Citylife Magazine had planned to organise a gathering at Tha Pae Gate to raise awareness about health concerns from the annual pollution crisis. Following a request by the then governor of Chiang Mai Pawin Chamniprasert, warning that the gathering could be used by some ill-intentioned people as a political tool to create chaos which could possibly lead to violence, Citylife agreed to cancel the event the day before it was planned to be held.
However, as part of the event’s promotion, Citylife had previously shared an image on Instagram, sent by a teacher of a local international high school, painted by a 12th grade student, featuring the Three Kings Monument wearing pollution masks. The image was believed by some to have caused offence and, following complaints, governor Pawin issued an order to the Chang Phueak Police Station to investigate the editor for possible computer crimes, specifically for what the provincial hall said was an, “inappropriate act which affected tourism and crated economic instability in the province due to the fact that the three kings are beloved and highly respected by the people of Chiang Mai, having joined forces to form the city which has remained until today. To cover their faces is a form of disrespect, and hurts the feelings of the people, which also affects the city’s image.”
The editor faced up to 5 years in jail, according to Associated Press.
The announcement led to global backlash. Thai social media influencers Mam Po Dum and Drama Addict, whom between them had millions of followers, garnered hundreds of thousands of likes and comments in support of the editor. Local and national media also began to voice their support of the editor, from The Nation to the Bangkok Post. The matter soon went international with Reuters and Associated Press disseminating the news to media worldwide, from the BBC to the New York Times.
“I shared this picture thinking it was pertinent and powerful,” Pim told Reuters. “For decades I’ve been promoting the city and loving it… so it’s quite unsettling that fighting for healthy air for my fellow citizens has turned into me besmirching the city.”
Today an official letter arrived at Citylife office from the Chang Phueak Police Station informing the editor that the case had been official dropped.
According to the letter, “…Pim Kemasingki, the accused of computer crimes, crimes which could feature incorrect information on the computer which affects national security, the security of the public, the stability of the nation’s economy or the infrastructure of the nation, or to create panic amongst the public, placing such information onto the public realm through the internet. The information placed is someone else’s and the image is created, edited, added to or changed through electronic measures, or other measures, which could affect someone else’s reputation, make them subject of ire and hatred or receive shame and embarrassment…it has now been decided not to prosecute the said person.”
Citylife is grateful that the matter has ended decisively and without harm to any persons.