The Khammouane Police Division For Human Trafficking Prevention has imposed a LAK 9,000,000 (USD1,008) fine on a woman found guilty of online slander and defamation. She has also been obligated to undergo reeducation.
Lieutenant Colonel Kuanjai Ketvilay, Director General of the Human Trafficking Prevention Division of Khammouane, reported that 29-year-old Phetvilay had accused Thaengkham of maliciously slandering her on Facebook by posting her pictures accompanied by defamatory language.
According to a report in Lao Security News, Thaengkham, 45, confessed that she was motivated to post out of anger at the plaintiff for not paying back money that she was owed, in the amount of THB 91,300 (approximately USD 3,000). Phetvilay had already been instructed to pay back the money owed to Thaengkham in another civil court order. Apparently not satisfied with the court order, Thaengkham took matters into her own hands by publicizing the case online out of sheer frustration. It is not clear whether the debt has been paid.
Nevertheless, the fine is to be paid to Phetvilay to ease her emotional distress as a result of online public humiliation.
Comments on social media were mixed with many sympathizing on behalf of Thaengkham and decrying the fine while others expressed support for lawful protection against online slander.