There is more going on in Thailand. It seems that a Chiranuch Premchaiporn who runs Prachatai.com a news website has been charged in April this year because she neglected to remove a comment that was again against the royal crown ‘lese majeste’. She insists that she deleted the post when requested by the MICT but they have stated that she should have noticed the post herself. She risks a prison sentence for upto 50 years.
Freedom of speech conflict with defaming Thai royal crown
It seems that things are heating up in Thailand. There have been cases and more to come whereby bloggers, vloggers are being sent to prison for posting whether text or videos on YouTube that defames or threatens the Thai crown. One such vlogger is Suwicha Thakhor known as ‘thaiman 8’ that posted crude videos that mocked Thailand’s royal family, he got 10 years jail more information on what he has been charged with can be found on this blog, very good reporting on what is happening on mainland Southeast Asia.
Now to find these defaming posts the Thai authorities are not going to the lengths of China after all Thailand do claim to be a democracy. However there is a battle going on between the right for free speech and censorship. However the authorities have blocked 8,300 website pages for defaming the crown and another 32,500 pages for other offences (source Economist 02/07/09). In 2007 YouTube was blocked for several months.
It is seems that Suwicha Thakhor is the first to be convicted as such, and there are many more in the pipeline….. so beware Thai bloggers!