Police seize computers in raid on independent Bangkok book publisher

Fa Diew Kan editor Thanapol Eawsakul, seated in a blue shirt, talks Thursday morning to the police raiding his office. Photo: Fa Diew Kan
Fa Diew Kan editor Thanapol Eawsakul, seated in a blue shirt, talks Thursday morning to the police raiding his office. Photo: Fa Diew Kan

Thirty police officers this morning raided a publishing house in the Bangkok metropolitan area known for works sharply critical of the status quo.

Fa Diew Kan (“Same Sky”) said the officers arrived at its location in Nonthaburi’s Rattanathibet area at about 10:30am with a search warrant to look for books titled The Monarchy and Thai Society written by jailed lawyer-activist Arnon Nampa.

Cofounder and editor Thanapol Eawsakul could not be reached for comment as of time of publication. His mobile phone and computer were seized, according to a statement from the publishing house

The publishing house is known for producing journals featuring deep discussion, analysis and commentary about Thai politics and society, some of which is critical of the monarchy.

Photo: Fa Diew Kan

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights said its lawyers were on their way to the police station.

This is not the first time Fa Diew Kan was visited and searched by the authorities. In March last year, police raided the office and seized many copies of The Monarchy and Thai Society written by Arnon. Police said they would “thoroughly” examine the copies for any content deemed insulting or critical of the monarchy.

Fa Diew Kan has also produced two books – Khor Funfai Nai Fun An Lueachuea and Khun Seuk Sakdina Phraya Insi – based on academic Nattapol Chaiching’s doctoral thesis on politics in the Cold War period. Last year, Nattapol and Fa Diew Kan were sued for alleged slander and accused of disseminating false information over the books.

After the military coup occurred in 2014, several attempts were made to prosecute those who criticized the ruling junta which seized power. Thanapol was brought in for questioning and detained several times.

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