Thanapol Eawsakul

Clipped from Prachatai

Thanapol Eawsakul is the editor of the controversial magazine Fa Diew Kan. He faces two accusations of lese majeste. The first relates to an interview with Sulak Sivaraksa in 2006 and the second to an issue of the magazine, on the monarchy, from 2007. The staff of Fah Diew Kan and its website have long been harassed by the authorities.

In February 2011, another case was brought against Thanapol. Democrat Party MP Watchara Petthong filed lese majeste complaints against Thaksin Shinawatra, Robert Amsterdam and Thanapol as editor of the Same Sky/Fa diew kan for the publication of the Thai version of the White Paper by Amsterdam & Peroff on the violence of April and May 2010. The book, which does not list Thanapol as publisher, has been a best seller, and was the initial case taken to the International Criminal Court by red shirts seeking redress for the violence.

Thanapol has faced continuing intimidation and was arrested for anti-coup activity in 2014. His lese majeste case was not filed by police following investigations. However, he remains a target of much legal action.

On 29 June 2022, Technology Crime Suppression Division police arrested Thanapol. He was charged with “disclosing documents and other material related to national security and violating the Computer Crime Act…”. The police took Thanapol to Technology Crime Suppression Division headquarters, initially without a lawyer.

Later, on Facebook, Thanapol explained the situation (with apologies for hurried translation).

He said that it has more or less been normal for the police to “visit” the offices of Fa Diaw Kan since the journal was established some two decades ago. Following the 2014 military coup, the “visits” increased, then dropped off around the time of the 2019 election, but then expanded again as the monarchy reform-democratization movement expanded. In this latter period, the police became interested in various books published by Fa Diaw Kan, most of them associated with aspects of the monarchy, historical and contemporary.

This heightened police “interest” meant that Thanapol was being closely monitored.

On 21 November 2020, Thanapol posted a message about a National Security Council document ordering to tracking down of a former ambassador. The police filed a complaint on 31 December 2020 and then went quiet.

On 20 January 2022, some 30 police and officers from the Technology Crime Suppression Division searched the publisher’s office, seizing including Arnon Nampa’s The Monarchy and Thai society (which is not a Fa Diew Kan book), computer equipment and Thanapol’s mobile phone. The officers presented two search warrants and an order granting access to computer data, issued by the Nonthaburi Provincial Court.

On 18 April 2022, the Technology Crime Suppression Division said the earlier document seized was classified and disseminated illegally. An arrest warrant was sought even though Thanapol had agreed to report to police. He says: “On June 23, 2022, I made an appointment to go to the TCSD on July 4, 2022 at 1 p.m., but during that time, on June 28, the TCSD requested the court’s approval to issue an arrest warrant….  As a result of issuing an arrest warrant, The police came to arrest me today, 29 June 2022, when I was taken to the police station and to the TCSD…”.

Lawyers from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights and efforts by Move Forward Party, MP Rangsiman Rome led to bail being granted.

So far, few details of the charges are available.

Media commentary on Thanapol’s case:

Thai Enquirer, 30 June 2022: “Editor of critical book publisher arrested, released on bail

Prachatai, 13 January 2016: “Military visits Same Sky Journal, asking about Yingluck calendar

Prachatai, 22 February 2011: Lèse majesté charges filed against Robert Amsterdam’s book”

RWB, 7 January 2008: “Information ministry asked to explain why website was closed without going to court”

Earth Times, 6 January 2008: “Popular Thai website closed down for anti-monarchy comments”

Prachatai, 5 January 2008: “Fah Diew Kan website shut down; lèse majesté alleged”

The Nation, 5 March 2007: “A searing indictment of the coup”

Asian Human Rights Commission, 31 March 2006: “THAILAND: Interior Minister bans magazine for publishing articles on Thai monarchy” and a related poste, here.

12 responses

21 02 2009
New: Defending lèse majesté « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Bangkok Pundit also points to the excellent unpublished paper by David Strekfuss and Thanapol Eawsakul, “Speaking the Unspeakable: Lèse-Majesté and the Monarchy in Thailand” (the latter […]

31 05 2009
New: Pridi websit « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] the launch, Thanapol Eawsakul one of the sites developers, said that the the site would include a repository of documents. One of […]

4 12 2009
New: BBC, Handley, lese majeste and fear « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] the Fa Diew Kan webboard does more than this and one of the figures associated with it – Thanapol Eawsakul – has been charged with lese majeste. Leithead says that it does sometime contain critical […]

11 05 2010
What we want you to believe « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Sulak Sivaraksa an academic and intellectual commentator and he has been charged several times. Thanapol Eawsakul edits Fah Diew Kan which is used and read by many academics. He currently faces two […]

19 09 2010
Updated: Lese majeste for the coup anniversary « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Library is now trying to contact the editor…”. A panel continues to investigate. This is not the first time that the magazine and its editor have been attacked using lese majeste […]

22 02 2011
The missing headline: Lese majeste | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] unclear why Thanapol is included as he is not listed as the publisher of the book. Both Thaksin and Thanapol have faced earlier charges related to lese […]

11 05 2011
Thanapol on lese majeste

[…] against Thammasat University’s Somsak Jeamteerasakul will want to read this statement from Thanapol Eawsakul, the editor of Fa Diew Kan. The statement is available in Thai and has also been translated by ANU […]

12 01 2012
The Tragedy of King Bhumibol | ZENJOURNALIST

[…] in an interminable trial; lèse majesté charges have also been lodged against Somsak and Thanapol; and a complaint has been made […]

23 04 2012
13 08 2012
The Tragedy of King Bhumibol | ZENJOURNALIST MIRROR

[…] in an interminable trial; lèse majesté charges have also been lodged against Somsak and Thanapol; and a complaint has been made […]

5 12 2012
Lese majeste not forgotten « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Thanapol Eawsakul […]

5 12 2012
Lese majeste not forgotten « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Pruksakasemsuk, Suporn Atthawong, Suraphot Thawisak, Thaksin Shinawatra, Thanapol Bamrungsri, Thanapol Eawsakul, Thiranan Vipuchanun, Khatha Pachachirayapong, Somjet Itthiworakul, Thatsaporn Rattanawongsa, […]

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