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THAILAND – News office raided and editor arrested, for lese majeste

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On 6 March 2009, the police raided the office of Prachatai, a Bangkok-based news website, and arrested its webmaster. Although they refused to comment about the charge, it is reported that they accused the website for leaving lese majeste comments up for 20 days.

The police officers arrived at their office on the day, presenting both a search warrant and a warrant for the arrest of Chiranuch Premchaiporn, its webmaster. After searching the office, the officers attempted to interrogate Chiranuch. They confiscated her personal computer and copied all the data contained on her hard disk, before arresting her on charges of violating the 2007 Computer-related Crime Act.

Chiranuch Premchaiporn denied the allegations and refused to answer any questions before having access to legal counsel. She was brought to the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok, before being granted bail later that day.

The police and the Information and Communication Technology Ministry usually issue a warning when lese majeste comments are found on a website, but allegedly, no warning was given in this incident.

Source: The Nation