Thai military visits Same Sky journal, asks editor’s political views

Military personnel visited the office f an anti-establishment social-political journal, asking the editor his opinions towards the Thai junta.  

Five officers from the 5th Anti-aircraft Infantry at 1:45 pm on Tuesday, 25 August 2015, came to the office of Same Sky Journal (Fah Diew Kan in Thai).

The officers said that they came to introduce themselves to people working at the publication because they have taken over the responsibility to do so in place of those who used to be in charge of the same task.

According to Thanapol Eawsakul, the editor of Sam Sky Journal, the military personnel have been closely monitoring and paying visits to those who were summoned by the 2014 coup-maker.

He added that the officers already came to the publication office once before this month on 7 August 2015. 

Military personnel visit Same Sky Journal’s office in Bangkok on 25 August 2015 (picture posted on Same Sky Journal Facebook)

The editor posted on the journal facebook page that after introducing themselves the military officers asked him “what do you think about the government?”. Thanapol answered “Frankly speaking, before the coup I disagreed with the coup. After the coup, I still disagree with the coup, but I can’t do anything because the junta has already taken control of everything.”

When asked by the officers about his suggestions to the government, he said “the election should be held as soon as possible.”

Last year, 2014, Thanapol was arrested on 23 May, only a day after the coup d’, during an anti-coup protest in front of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Siam Square. Later he was detained for seven days after his name appeared on a summons list in Order No 5 of the junta's National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

He was detained briefly for the second time from 5-9 July 2014 by the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) and was forced to sign, again, an agreement stating that he would stop all political activities and stop expressing opinions on politics.

In 2006, the Same Sky Journal and Thanapol were threatened with lese majeste because of the issue “The Monarchy and the Thai Society”, aka. “The Coke Issue,” which was banned by the Thai authorities. Because of this issue, Thanapol was charged with Article 112 but the police did not file the case.

Advertisements

Since 2007, Prachatai English has been covering underreported issues in Thailand, especially about democratization and human rights, despite the risk and pressure from the law and the authorities. However, with only 2 full-time reporters and increasing annual operating costs, keeping our work going is a challenge. Your support will ensure we stay a professional media source and be able to expand our team to meet the challenges and deliver timely and in-depth reporting.

• Simple steps to support Prachatai English

1. Bank transfer to account “โครงการหนังสือพิมพ์อินเทอร์เน็ต ประชาไท” or “Prachatai Online Newspaper” 091-0-21689-4, Krungthai Bank

2. Or, Transfer money via Paypal, to e-mail address: service@prachatai.com, please leave a comment on the transaction as “For Prachatai English”