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Facebook fan page of Thai independent news site blocked by government; two other websites shut down

The Facebook fan page of independent Thai online news site Prachatai.com was blocked today [28 April] by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT), along with two other websites in the aftermath of the clash between security forces and Red Shirt protesters on 27 April, according to Chiranuch Premchaiporn, Prachatai's executive director. The fan page has 5,798 fans.

Chiranuch said that the Thai-language news site can still be accessed through http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=MM9YV&m=1b_1.ywxnDKXin&b=.uYSyu8KABMXeA... while its English-language version, www.prachatai.org requires a proxy server.

The original Prachatai website was ordered shut down by the government a day after Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva placed Bangkok and nearby provinces under a state of emergency on 7 April.

Chiranuch said that another news website, www.springnewstv.com,which also provides news content to several satellite TV channels, was also blocked after it reportedly ran a video clip of the 27 April violent confrontation between soldiers and policemen and Red Shirt protesters in Vibhavadi-Rangsit Highway in the capital's outskirts. One soldier was killed while eight protesters were injured.

A video-sharing website, www.vimeo.com, was also shut down, apparently for running video footages of the said clash.

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