|11th January |
Thai society passes harsh judgement
See article from prachatai.com
|14th January |
Academic calls for abolition of L่se Majest้ law
article from google.com
interview from radioaustralia.net.au
A Thai academic who is facing charges of insulting the monarchy called for a campaign to abolish the law under which he could be jailed for 15 years.
Ji Ungpakorn, a prominent activist and political scientist at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn
University, said police have asked to question him over a book he wrote about Thailand's 2006 military coup.
His case is the latest sign of ideological struggle over the role of the monarchy, a subject that was once taboo. There has been a recent
spate of complaints and prosecutions for lese majeste — as the charge is called — and increased censorship of Web sites allegedly critical of the institution.
Ji said at a news conference that the lese majeste law, which mandates a
jail term of three to 15 years for defaming the king, the queen or the heir to the throne, restricts freedom of speech and expression and does not allow for public accountability and transparency of the institution of the monarchy.
charged that it is used as a tool by the military, and other authoritarian elites, in order to protect their own interests. He claimed he was being targeted for political reasons because he criticized the military and its coup.
elected Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has promised to take all measures to prevent people from defaming the monarchy.
|17th January |
Another internet user arrested over L่se Majest้
article from prachatai.com
Reporters Without Borders deplores today's arrest of Internet user Suwicha Thakhor on a charge of insulting the monarchy (lese majeste), just one day after Thai Netizen Network, a group that defends online freedom of expression, met with Prime
Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and suggested ways to reach a compromise on Internet regulation, including the issue of lese majeste.
This arrest gives the government the opportunity to demonstrate its readiness to maintain a real dialogue by
keeping a close watch on the conduct of the investigation, Reporters Without Borders said. We urge the government to do everything possible to ensure that Thakhor is released as soon as the authorities establish that he has not done anything that
violates democratic norms.
The Department of Special Investigations said Thakhor was arrested because his computer's Internet address matched the address from which comments about the king and his aides had been sent. He was picked up by the
police while visiting friends in the provinces. The authorities say they suspect he knew the police were after him and that he left the capital for this reason.
Thakhor, who is being held at Department of Special Investigations headquarters in
Bangkok, has denied the charges.
|19th January |
Australian author jailed for 3 years for l่se majest้
Based on article from
A court in Thailand has sentenced an Australian author to three years in jail after finding him guilty of insulting the country's royal family.
Appearing in a Bangkok court, Harry Nicolaides, had pleaded guilty to the charges, related to a 2005
novel he authored which reportedly sold just seven copies.
He was convicted under Thailand's lese majeste laws, designed to protect the royal family but which activists say are outdated and stifle free speech.
Passing the court's verdict,
the judge initially sentenced Nicolaides to six years in jail, but reduced the sentence to three years because of his guilty plea.
Speaking in court earlier, Nicolaides, who was shackled at the ankles and wore a prison uniform, said he had
endured unspeakable suffering since his arrest five months ago and that the case had taken a toll on his health and family.
The case comes as Thai authorities step up prosecutions under the country's controversial laws on lese majeste or
insulting the monarchy, which mandates a severe sentence for whoever defames, insults or threatens the king, the queen, the heir to the throne or the regent.
Nicolaides, who lived in Thailand from 2003-2005 and taught in the northern city
of Chiang Rai, was arrested in August at Bangkok's international airport as he was about to board a flight home to Melbourne. The author was unaware of a warrant issued in March for his arrest in connection with his novel, Verisimilitude , rights
group Reporters Without Borders said.
|21st January |
Ever more claims of l่se majest้
article from prachatai.com
Thailand's Justice Minister Pirapan Salirathavibhaga said on 19 January that websites containing information considered as lese majeste are increasing, media reports said.
The "Bangkok Post" quoted Pirapan as saying that more than
10,000 such websites have contents that allegedly insult the Thai royal family.
Based on article from
Thai police have charged an outspoken academic with insulting the royal family in a book, the accused professor said.
Giles Ji Ungpakorn, a
political science professor, said he was formally charged under the kingdom's harsh lese majeste laws protecting the monarchy from defamation.
The academic told AFP he was was charged over the content of my anti-military coup book, A Coup
for the Rich. The charges seem to have arisen out of a complaint made by the Chulalongkorn University book shop to the police, said Giles, a Thai national who teaches there.
He has 20 days to make a statement to the police, who
will then decide whether to forward the case to the courts for trial.
|25th January |
Thailand to launch PR campaign to 'educate' foreigners about its lese majeste law
Thailand's Senate has resolved to set up an extraordinary committee to strictly enforce laws in the name of protection of the monarchy following an increasing number of websites found to be offensive to the royal institution.
The Senate voted 90
to 17 to set up an extraordinary panel to follow up on the enforcement of laws and articles relating to the protection of the monarchy is to be headed by national police chief Patcharawat Wongsuwan.
Currently, there are over 10,000 websites deemed
offensive to the monarchy. The Information and Communication (ICT) Ministry has been able to block only 2,000 sites.
The Justice Ministry will coordinate with the Foreign Ministry to launch a campaign among foreigners to educate them about
lese majeste laws.
Justice Minister Pirapan Salirathavibhaga said he would coordinate with the Foreign Ministry to instruct all Thai embassies abroad to launch public relations campaigns about lese majeste laws which impose harsh punishments on
those who insult the Thai monarchy.
|26th January |
Australia asks Thailand to pardon Harry Nicolaides
Australia asked Thailand to pardon a writer from Melbourne who received three years in prison for insulting the royal family in three sentences of a novel that sold seven copies.
Foreign Minister Stephen Smith made the request in a letter to his
Thai counterpart after Harry Nicolaides pleaded guilty this week to defaming the head of state, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, and his son.
Now that the legal processes before Thailand’s courts have concluded, Australian officials have advised
Thai officials that the Australian government strongly supports Mr. Nicolaides’s pardon application, Smith said in a statement.
The government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, which took power last month after backing a royalist
protest group, is cracking down on Web sites that insult the king, a crime punishable by as many as 15 years in prison.
Thailand has received the pardon request from Australia’s government and will process it in a timely manner, Tharit Charungvat, Foreign Ministry spokesman, said.
|27th January |
Another issue of The Economist withdrawn from Thailand
article from news.bbc.co.uk
Another edition of UK-based current affairs magazine The Economist has been withdrawn in Thailand, amid local fears over its coverage of the royal family.
The Economist's Thai distributor held back Friday's issue - which contains an
article about an Australian writer who was jailed for allegedly slandering the monarchy.
Last month another edition was banned because of an article questioning the Thai king's role in public life.
The Economist sent an e-mail to
its Asia subscribers stating: This week our distributors in Thailand have decided not to deliver the Economist in light of our coverage relating to the Thai monarchy.
|1st February |
Third issue of The Economist withdrawn from Thailand
Based on article from iht.com
The latest issue of The Economist will be withheld from distribution in Thailand for the third time in two months because of its coverage of the country's monarchy, the magazine said.
The British magazine's Thai distributor, Asia Books,
refused to deliver copies of its Jan. 31 issue because the article might break the country's strict law against insulting the royal family, the magazine said in an email to subscribers.
The Jan. 31 issue contains an article, entitled A sad
slide backwards, that criticizes Thailand for alleged abuse of Muslim migrants from Myanmar known as the Rohingya.
Their plight gained international attention after several boats carrying around 1,000 migrants were intercepted in December by
the Thai navy. Human rights groups allege that Thai officers detained and beat them before forcing them back to sea in vessels with no engines and little food or water. Hundreds are believed to have drowned. Thai authorities have repeatedly denied the
The article's criticism was largely directed at the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and the Thai military in its handling of the migrants. It made only passing mention of the taboo subject of royal involvement in Thai
|9th February |
British professor flees Thailand after lese majeste charges
article from guardian.co.uk
A leading Bangkok-based professor who has joint British and Thai nationality fled Thailand at the weekend in the face of a lengthy sentence under the country's draconian lese-majesty laws, which forbid criticism of the king.
Giles Ji Ungpakorn
arrived in England at the weekend after being charged under the laws. He had been due to present himself to the police in Bangkok today and could have faced 15 years in jail if found guilty.
I did not believe I would receive a fair trial, said Ungpakorn, an associate professor of political science at Chulalongkom University and a contributor to the New Statesman and Asian Sentinel.
Ungpakorn is the author of A Coup for the Rich , in which he criticises the 2006 military coup. He said that the charges arose out of eight paragraphs in the first chapter deemed insulting to King Bhumibol. He claimed that the director of
a university bookshop stocking his book had informed the special branch that it insulted the monarchy. The offending paragraphs deal with incidents around the coup.
The English chapter of PEN, the international writers' organisation, has
written to Bill Rammell, the UK Foreign Office minister who is due to visit Thailand, urging him to make representations to the Thai government.
Carole Seymour-Jones of PEN said: We remain deeply concerned by the increased use of lese-majesty
laws in Thailand. Giles is the second New Statesman contributor to have faced such charges in recent months, the first being the Australian writer Harry Nicolaides, sentenced to three years in prison on 19 January.
Academics from the UK,
India, South Africa, Turkey, France, Greece, Poland, Canada, Australia and other countries have also protested. A group, including Professor Alex Callinicos, Susan George and Dennis Brutus have signed a petition expressing deep concern. In a
letter to the Guardian recently, more than 30 academics urged that charges be dropped.
|7th March |
Office of Thai online news website, Prachatai, raided by police
article from cpj.org
On the same day that Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva told a meeting of news editors of his intention to restore Thailand's press freedom reputation, police officials raided the offices and arrested the executive director of a popular online news
Prachatai's executive director Chiranuch Premchaiporn was arrested when a group of five or six Crime Suppression Division police officials entered the Web site's Bangkok offices. Officers also took copies of the hard drives of
some of the office's computers. Chiranuch was later released on bail.
The director was charged under national security-related articles 14 and 15 of the 2007 Computer Crime Act for postings apparently critical of the Thai royal family made on one
of the site's boards, according to Prachatai. It is unclear if Chiranuch would also be charged under the country's lese majeste law, which criminalizes any criticism of the royal family. Guilty convictions are punishable with a maximum of 15 years in
We call upon the relevant authorities to immediately cease and desist from harassing all online journalists and commentators like Chiranuch Premchaiporn, said Bob Dietz, CPJ's Asia Program Director : Thailand has unleashed one
of the most aggressive crackdowns on Internet freedom seen anywhere in Asia and we strongly urge them to reverse course.
Prachatai has developed a reputation for independent reporting, particularly through its hard-hitting reports on the
conflict between government forces and Muslim rebels in the country's three southernmost provinces. The site was threatened with closure last year because of comments deemed harmful to the monarchy posted to one of the site's online public forums.
|2nd April |
The latest amongst a dozen cases of lese majeste
Based on article from
Suwicha Thakhor has spent two months in a Thai prison, accused by police of insulting the royal family. He says he should be allowed to express an opinion.
Arrested Jan. 14 and charged in connection with material posted on the Internet, the
34-year-old oil engineer said: We have to be able to think freely. They cannot stop ideas by sending people to jail.
More than a dozen similar cases are pending under Thai law as a widening political divide prompts discussion on the future
role of the monarchy.
The lese-majeste law is no different from contempt-of- court laws where you protect institutions that are neutral, that have no self-defense mechanism, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva claimed, he told reporters the
law would be reviewed to make it clearer.
Suwicha, wearing a prison-issued yellow shirt emblazoned with a royal insignia, said his views on the monarchy changed after the coup that deposed Thaksin. Police tracked his Web postings, which he
wouldn’t discuss, and read his e-mails, he said. He was arrested after dropping his kids off at school.
In the past, people fled to the jungle to share their political beliefs, Suwicha said, referring to a Communist insurgency in the 1970s
that was suppressed by the government: Now we have Web sites. If they want to stop it, they must stop the technology itself.
Suwicha, who has twice been denied bail, said he’s hoping for a miracle. If freed, he plans to work on a
farm and live a private life. Still, he makes no apologies for his beliefs.
|4th April |
Than internet user jailed for 10 years for posting insulting pictures of king
article from news.bbc.co.uk
A Thai internet user has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for violating strict laws against insulting the monarchy.
A court in Bangkok said Suwicha Thakho digitally altered images of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and his family and posted them on the
The court did not say how the pictures were changed or where they appeared, but local media cited YouTube.
Thailand's royal family is sheltered from public debate by some of the world's most stringent lese-majeste laws,
as the police and army try to suppress what they fear is a rising tide of anti-monarchy sentiment.
Now up to 7000 blocked pages or websites
article from prachatai.com
On April 1st, Aree Jiworarak, of the Ministry of
Information and Communication Technology, said the Ministry's recently established Internet Security Operations Centre (ISOC) had blocked over 7,000 improper URLs or web pages, which included 1,403 culturally and morally offensive pornographic pages.
Now the Ministry is investigating the case of the pornographic animation clip Ninja Love which was posted at mthai website, and is trying to find the poster for prosecution.
|15th April |
Web forum moderator faces 50 years for not deleting posts quickly enough
on article from facthai.wordpress.com
Chiranuch Premchaiporn, webmaster of independent Thai online news portal Prachatai, was arrested March 6 under Thailand’s Computer Crimes Act. Her charges resulted from allowing comments posted by readers of Prachatai’s online discussion fora alleged to
be lèse majesté.
On April 7, Chiranuch was called to Royal Thai Police headquarters for further investigation. Thai police laid nine new charges against Chiranuch resulting from the information she herself gave them after her
Police claim the alleged illegal postings were allowed to remain on Prachatai for periods of one to fifteen days. Police consider each posting to be a separate violation of the computer law even though these were removed promptly after
notification by Thailand’s ICT ministry.
None of the webboard posters have been arrested possibly as it is beyond the data retention period when IP addresses can be traced.
Additional charges under the cybercrime law mean that Chiranuch
is facing 50 years in prison for comments she did not create and not self-censoring webboard posts fast enough for government censors.
Police also told Chiranuch that six more persons will be charged later this month under the computer act.
|17th April |
More self censorship of The Economist magazine in Thailand
Based on article from
The Economist has again decided not to distribute its magazine in Thailand this week because of coverage of the Thai monarchy.
In an email to subscribers the magazine confirmed: Due to the sensitive nature of our coverage on the Thai monarchy,
we decided not to distribute the April 18th 2009 issue of The Economist in Thailand.
This week's magazine appears to have two Thailand related articles although the sensitive article is entitled The trouble with Thailand's King .
It is sure to thrust Thailand's lese majeste laws into the global spotlight once again.
This is the third edition of the magazine this year to suffer distribution problems this year.
|30th April |
Human rights groups call on Thailand to revise lese majeste laws
Media caught in the middle of Thai conflict from cpj.org by Shawn W
I posted a video of the king on the Internet, Suwicha Thakor told Reporters Without Borders from behind a plexiglas screen in Bangkok’s Klong Prem prison on 20 April. The police should have told me what I was doing was wrong. It is not right to
be sentenced to 10 years in prison for this. I am not a problem for the country or its security. I am in prison for nothing.
Suwicha was given the 10-year sentence on 3 April on a charge of lese majeste. Reporters Without Borders wrote to the
king yesterday asking him to grant Suwicha a royal pardon.
Reporters Without Borders and 31 other human rights, press freedom and journalists organisations have issued a joint appeal to the Thai government for a revision of article 112 of the
Thai criminal code on lese majeste.
Since a new government took over last December, the authorities have stepped up enforcement of the lese majeste law and the Internet has been one of the leading victims. Access to more than 50,000 websites is
currently blocked because of content critical of the monarchy. Around ten people are being prosecuted (or have been prosecuted) for lese majeste and two of them have been convicted. The crime of lese majeste is punishable by three to 15 years in prison.
Call to the Prime Minister to review the lese majeste law:
We, human rights groups, journalists and the victims of arbitrary lese majeste prosecutions appeal to Thai authorities to review criminal code article 112 on
national security offences, under which any defamatory, insulting or threatening comments about the king, queen, crown prince or regent is deemed to be a crime of lese majeste punishable by three to 15 years in prison.
Access to more than 50,000
webpages has been blocked because of content critical of the monarchy, some 10 people are currently being prosecuted on lese majeste charges, at least two are in prison, and more held without bail.
This situation has gone unresolved far too long.
|11th November |
Thai politicians unimpressed by Times interview of Thaksin
Based on article from timesonline.co.uk
A group of Thai politicians and generals have accused a Times journalist of insulting the country's monarchy by reporting comments by Thaksin Shinawatra — an offence that carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
The complaint against Richard
Lloyd Parry, the Asia editor of The Times, derives from an interview with Thaksin that was published in Monday's newspaper and on Times Online the day before.
According to the Bangkok Post, members of a group of Thai monarchists called Siam
Samakkhi (United Siam) have made an allegation of lèse-majesté against Thaksin and Lloyd Parry. The Government blocked parts of Times Online from being accessed within the country.
Kasit Piromya, the Foreign Minister, said: Thaksin's interview is a violation of the monarchy, which is the country's core pillar and a highly respected institution. It is unacceptable and should have never taken place.
It is not clear which parts of the interview led to the complaint by four members of Siam Samakkhi. They include Senator Somchai Sawaengkarn, a critic of Thaksin, and General Somchet Boonthanom, the former head of the Thai Council for National
|20th March |
The Economist pulls another issue from distribution in Thailand
article from www1.voanews.com
One of the world's most popular English-language news publications will not be distributed in Thailand this week because of an article on the nation's monarchy.
In an email issued to subscribers, the UK-based magazine The Economist, said that due
to the sensitive nature of the publication's coverage of the Thai monarchy, the March 20th edition will not be distributed in the South East Asian country. There were no indications that the online edition of The Economist would be affected.
article in question examines concerns in Thailand over the question of potential royal succession and how it relates to recent political unrest in the country.
Friday's self-censorship by The Economist marks the fourth time since late 2008 that
the publication has been pulled from circulation in the Thai kingdom over a story about the nation's monarchy.
|17th April |
Thailand complains about Australian programme
Based on article from
Thailand has protested to the Australian government over the airing of a documentary critical of the Thai royal family and warned that the broadcast could affect ties between the nations.
A senior representative from the Thai embassy met with
officials from Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs o express his concern at the programme, Foreign Correspondent , aired by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
The concern is that it might affect the good relations
between Thailand and Australia, especially the people to people relations, Saksee Phromyothi, minister-counsellor at the Royal Thai Embassy, told AFP: We consider this an issue matter of national security... because the royal family, the monarchy,
in our constitution is above politics.
Thailand's ambassador designate Kriangsak Kittichaisaree has also written to ABC managing director Mark Scott to complain about the programme which could breach Thailand's lese-majeste laws which prohibit
criticism of the royals: I regret that an organisation of the ABC's stature has lowered its own standard by airing the said documentary which is presented in a manner no different from tabloid journalism .
A spokesman for Australia's
Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed that Thai embassy officials had complained about the ABC programme but said: The Australian government does not and cannot control content run by Australian media organisation .
|21st June |
Thailand approves creation of a new body of internet censors
16th June 2010. Based on article from
The Thai cabinet has approved the creation of a new cyber crime agency to stamp out online criticism of the revered monarchy.
The government, which has blocked tens of thousands of web pages in recent years for insulting the royal family, said the
main task of the Bureau of Prevention and Eradication of Computer Crime would be to prevent criticism of the monarchy.
Under the kingdom's strict lese majeste rules, insulting the monarchy or a member of the royal family can result in jail terms
of up to 15 years. Anyone can file a lese majeste complaint, and police are duty-bound to investigate it.
And under Thailand's computer crime law, introduced in 2007, acts of defamation and posting false rumours online are punishable by five years
in jail and a fine of 100,000 baht.
Thai authorities had already been closely scrutinising online comments about the monarchy since the Red Shirt campaign. Campaigning for changes in Thai democracy is seen by the Thai authorities as very
close to criticism of the monarchy.
Update: Blocking list now 113,000 websites!
21st June 2010. Based on
On May 9, Thai Information Ministry MICT and the Thai emergency law enforcers CRES admitted to blocking at least 50,000 websites
and adding 500 more per day. Thai anti-censorship campaigners, FACT's, extensive testing across Thai ISPs has revealed that ISPs are blocking at least a further 15,000 bringing the total to more than 65,000. In the second week of May, CRES announced
blocking of 770 new websites; on May 26, CRES announced blocking of 1,150 more. If we add these new figures to 46,000 websites, Thailand is blocking at least 113,000 websites!
On June 17, Thailand's new ICT minister announced a blacklist of 200
persons banned from posting to the Internet. This restriction was undefined but presumably all sites bearing these names will be blocked. Although the names of former PM office minister Jakrapob Penkair and Chulalongkorn University professor Giles Ji
Ungpakorn, both in exile over lèse majesté charges, are known to be on the blacklist, the rest of the list is secret.
Included in the announcement of the blacklist on June 17, government is threatening to take charge of
websites it doesn't like!
|20th August |
Thailand becoming one of the least free states in the region
Based on article from
Criticism over Thailand's efforts to curb political debate online is mounting as the government restricts thousands of websites following deadly protest clashes earlier this year.
Thai authorities say they have blocked at least 40,000 Web pages
this year, according to the government's Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, which monitors the Internet. Free-speech activists say authorities are blocking at least 110,000 sites, based on government disclosures and spot checks online.
Many of the sites feature criticism of the government or debates about Thailand's revered monarchy, a taboo subject here. As a result, some advocates say Thailand—long seen as a relative haven of free speech in Asia—is becoming one of the
least-free states in a region that includes China and Myanmar, when it comes to discourse online
...Read the full article
Update: Wikileaks Blocked
20th August 2010. Based on
article from google.com
have used their emergency powers to block domestic access to the WikiLeaks whistleblower website on security grounds, a government official said Wednesday.
The order came from the government unit set up to oversee the response to political unrest
that rocked the nation's capital earlier this year, a spokeswoman for the Information and Communication Technology Ministry said.
Access to this website has been temporarily suspended under the 2005 emergency decree, she said.
The Wikileaks block has yet to filter through, and for the moment, Wikileaks continues to be available to some in Thailand.
There is speculation that this action is more about toadying to the US who
are pissed off about the Afghan War leaks.
WikiLeaks has launched ThaiLeaks, a web page of downloadable ‘magnet links’ to Thailand news items. The whistleblower announced the launch of the new page today on Twitter. It said even if the new page is
blocked citizens will still be able to access information through the links which can be sent in e-mails, instant messages, even printed on paper, in order to keep information flowing.
|5th February |
Thai webmaster on trial for other people's postings on the forum
article from cpj.org
The trial has started of Chiranuch Premchaiporn, executive director of the Thailand-based independent news Web site Prachatai. She stands accused of 10 different violations of the country's draconian 2007 Computer Crime Act (CCA), each of which carries a
maximum penalty of five years in prison.
The case centers on comments posted by users of a Prachatai Web board that authorities have charged were defamatory of the Thai monarchy--a criminal offense under Thai law. Chiranuch has been charged under
the CCA's Section 15, which pertains to the liability of online intermediaries, including Internet service providers (ISPs) and webmasters.
Prosecution witness Aree Jivorarak, head of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology's
(MICT) said in his testimony that when his office brought the comments to Chiranuch's attention she immediately deleted them in her capacity as the Web board's moderator.
Chiranuch told CPJ that Prachatai's online forums received thousands
of comments daily in 2008--when the alleged CCA violations occurred--and that it was impossible to police instantly every comment that was posted.
Defense witnesses are expected to argue in upcoming hearings that the CCA's Section 15 is out of
step with laws governing intermediary liability in many Western countries and that the Thai law applies unreasonable obligations to webmasters.
|8th March |
The UN criticises Thailand for prosecution of webmaster over forum contents
See article from
Two United Special Rapporteurs have sent Thailand a letter of allegation concerning the case of Chiranuch Premchaiporn, the webmaster on trial in Bangkok for charges of lese-majesty and computer crime.
According to the Special
Rapporteur on human rights defenders, Margaret Sekkaggya in her annual report to the U.N. Human Rights Council, she sent the letter together with the Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, Frank La Rue, on October 1, 2010.
The February 28
report quotes a reply from the government of Thailand that the case was brought on the basis that views that are disrespectful of the monarchy, or advocate hatred or hostile feelings towards this important national institution, or those which incite
hatred or violence are generally unacceptable in the Thai society .
In a second letter sent in February, the government asked the U.N. rights experts not to prejudge the decision of the court hearing the case.
The police charged
Chiranuch not because of anything that she did or said herself but for comments posted on her independent news website, Prachatai, by users. She has been held criminally liable as the site administrator. The Bangkok-based Internet news site has since
been forced to close its web board because of fears that it or its users could be subject to further criminal actions.
Wong Kai Shing, executive director of the Asian Human Rights Commission, welcomed the U.N. experts' intervention and said that
it showed that the case is attracting more and more interest globally, because people around the world are concerned about the use of Thailand's draconian lese-majesty and computer crime laws to stifle legitimate debate.
At a time that the representative of Thailand to the Human Rights Council is holding the council's presidency, it is highly embarrassing that his government is prosecuting someone for speech and computer offences that she did not
The case cannot in any way be justified in terms of international law. The AHRC also completely rejects the government's arguments that it can be justified on particular cultural or national grounds.
The public prosecutor must withdraw the case.
|4th May |
Thailand set to ban mere mention of the monarchy during election campaign
See article from pattayadailynews.com
Thailand's Election Commission (EC) authorities have banned discussion of the monarchy in campaigning for the first national election since the political violence erupted in 2010.
The poll's body has not revealed the details of the new rules,
which were announced at a meeting with political representatives.
The EC will discuss details of the ban later, said Apichart Sukananond, the body's chairman, suggesting that parties who disobey the rules may be dissolved and their leaders
may be banned for five years.
Debate about the role of the monarchy is a taboo in Thailand as the country prepares its national election in early July.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva supported the ban stating that the monarchy was above politics and conflicts
, while the main opposition party Puea thai pledged to respect the rules.
Thailand advertises for the job of international news censor for cable and satellite TV
April 2020 |
See article from coconuts.co
TrueVisions is the dominant pay TV provider for Thai cable and satellite TV. The company broadcasts all foreign news channels with an annoying 5 minute delay so that a Thai news censor can hit the 'censor' button should the channel report about a
sensitive news topic.
Now the True company seems to have got in a spot of bother by openly posting a job listing for an international news censor on the nation's biggest job site.
TrueVisions has been criticized for its post on JobsDB for an
employee to monitor inappropriate news from 17 foreign news channels and talk shows and report them to superiors.
According to the job post, any content deemed to violate Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the section known as lese majeste, which
makes criticism of the royal family punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
The job listing did not indicate salary or other information about the job. Today, it had been replaced by a message reading , We're very sorry. This job no longer exists.