Milli, one of Thailand’s rising hip hop artists, trended on social media yesterday, July 21, after being “called in by the police to hear possible charges related to disinformation,” according to Thai Enquirer.
#Saveมิลลิ (#SaveMilli) is trending on twitter after the young Thai rap star called out the government for their Covid-response. The police has since called her in to hear possible charges related to disinformation.#WhatsHappeningInThailand pic.twitter.com/UD56ty80e7
— Thai Enquirer (@ThaiEnquirer) July 21, 2021
Using the hashtag #Saveมิลลิ (#SaveMilli), social media users and multiple artists and music entities have since voiced out their support to the rap star, whose real name is Danupha Khanatheerakul. Milli shared that she will be reporting to Nang Loeng Police Station at 10 am local time today, saying that she is “encouraged” and “ready to fight.”
— ไอนวยเอง (@millimdk) July 21, 2021
Among those who supported Milli is her label YUPP! and Thai group Rap Against Dictatorship, noting that the young artist has been representing Thailand internationally through her music since breaking out of the music scene just last year with her hit debut, “พักก่อน” (Pakkorn/You Need to Calm Down),” an anti-bullying track which incorporated Isan dialect with Thai LGBTQIA+ slang.
Milli is reportedly the first Thai artist to potentially face serious charges under the country’s Computer-Related Crime Act (CCA) of 2017 (an amendment of the earlier 2007 CCA), which has been criticized for its “ambiguity because of the broad grounds of offenses.”
In a report by Coconuts Bangkok, Chaiwut Thanakamansorn, minister of Digital Economy and Society, said on Tuesday, July 20, that “Actors, celebrities, and influencers are public figures that people love and have faith in, so please don’t use this as a political movement to attack the government, because it’s an act of distorting information and inputing fake news onto social media.”
On the criticisms regarding the government’s pandemic response amid the current outbreak, the minister said, “The government has tried everything in its power to obtain an adequate number of vaccines… We have done everything we can to control the rising cases. But we need everyone’s support and encouragement in combating this disease.”
Update: As of 12:25pm Thailand time, local outlet Thai Enquirer tweeted that Milli has been fined 2,000 Baht (roughly US$60) for “defaming [Thai Prime Minister] Prayut” and no other charges will be pursued by the plaintiff and the police.
— Thai Enquirer (@ThaiEnquirer) July 22, 2021
Earlier today, July 22, Milli tweeted a photo of herself making the three-finger salute, which became synonymous to the pro-democracy movements in several Southeast Asian countries. It has since been banned in Thailand.
She wrote in Thai, “Thank you for all the support that came today… I insist on continuing with what I have always done. Let us fight and fight. We won’t give up.”
ขอบคุณทุกๆกำลังใจทั้งที่มาวันนี้และจากทุกๆช่องทางเลยนะคับ รับทราบถึงพลังบวก แบบสับ วันนี้เลยใจพร้อมบวกแบบที่หนึ่งมากกก วันนี้เสียดายที่ไม่มีโอกาสได้คุยกัน ยังไงก็ตามหลังจากนี้ หนูก็ยืนยันที่จะทำต่อไปในสิ่งที่หนูได้ทำมาตลอด ขอให้พวกเราสู้ไปโต้ยกันนะคะ เราจะไม่ยอมแพ้ เย้ เบิ้บบู ❤️🔥 pic.twitter.com/7WiItLS1cB
— ไอนวยเอง (@millimdk) July 22, 2021