Thai Gov't Arrests News Site Owner, Because It Doesn't Like Some Comments By Users

from the free-speech-is-tricky dept

We’ve discussed a few times in the past about how the Thai government uses rules that say it’s illegal to insult the Thai king in order to censor websites that it doesn’t like. Now it seems to be taking this even further. The EFF has the details of how the webmaster for a political news site in Thailand has been arrested over comments on the site. As the EFF summarizes:

Jiew’s crime? In 2008, Prachatai published an interview with Chotisak Onsoong, a Thai man known for refusing to stand at attention during the Thai Royal Anthem — a dangerous political act in Thailand, though not technically a crime. The interview received huge attention, drawing over 200 comments from Thai citizens. On April 28, 2008, complaints were filed against Prachatai alleging that several comments on that interview were a defamation to the Monarchy. An arrest warrant for Jiew was issued on Septemeber 8, 2009, but no summons was received by Jiew until her arrest this past Friday.

The EFF also notes that this appears to be purely political and about intimidation, as the timing of the arrest (despite the fact that the warrant was issued over a year ago) didn’t happen until Jiew was returning to Thailand from a trip abroad where she gave two separate talks about the importance of an open and free internet.

Of course, in the long run, as with the attempts to shut down sites under this same law, all this seems to really be doing is calling that much more attention to how the Thai government uses the rules in questionable ways.

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Comments on “Thai Gov't Arrests News Site Owner, Because It Doesn't Like Some Comments By Users”

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Anonymous Coward says:

It is getting to the point that I don’t want to travel anywhere outside of the USA. The freaks here in the US are enough to deal with without the insults to basic freedom. Screw Thailand! Who needs them. I support isolation not globalization. Globalization! Hah just another word for lost jobs. Cut off Israel from American funds. I get $9,000 a year for working my entire life, being a good citizen and paying taxes and what I get for it is to watch each person in Israel get over $14,000 a year in US funds just for being alive. Globalization! They can have it. Give me back my money!

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