Sunday, September 16, 2007

Another Victim : A female who was arrested from Cyber Crime Law (for Criticizing the Thai King)

As of now, Pichai was released upon bail but we have not heard about another female prisoner of Cyber Crime Law (for insulting the Thai King in the chat room). There was an attempt to help this woman who was arrest by 20 Thai police at her house while sleeping in the middle of the night. From Prachatai news, Ms. Chiranuch Premchaiporn, a manager of Prachatai website is one of only a few people who have paid a visit to this female victim. From the report, Mr.Chiranuch said that this female victim has been in poor health and was unable to bail herself out of the prison because she did not have sufficient collateral. Up until now, the concerned Thai netizen are still trying to raise fund to help her.

Here’s a link to the news .

It looks as though we are not living in a good old Thailand but are evolving toward the North Korean’s totalitarianism. There’s no free country where people who criticize the leader would be abducted by 20 secret police in the middle of the night.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Another update

Pichai's talk-of-the-town webboard Propaganda was hacked , removed contents and defaced by a group of royalist hackers calling themselves 'Hacker from Hell' while Pichai was in prison. It is possible that Pichai might be forced to reveal the administrator password while under investigation.

Still, the new webboard was created immediately soon after.

There's no further news about Pichai after he was released on bail. It is believed that his family and his relatives want to keep his identify/surname a secret for fear that he or they could face serious trouble from the public for the act of insulting the King. In Thailand, King Bhumibol is still much revered and loved by the majority of Thai people.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Lastest Update: Praya Pichai gets bail.

Thai News from Prachatai front page says that Pichai now is granted bail and leaves the Special Bangkok Jail today (on Sep 6).

He is facing a charge of violating the 14th Act of Cyber Crime Law 1) Spread the false information in cyberspace that causes damage to other people, general public 2) Spread the false information that could affect the stability of the country and cause the fear for general public. Each charge could result in either 5 years in prison or 100,000 baht fine or both.

At least we have a good news that he is still all right.

Blogger reportedly held under new computer crime law

05 September 2007

Reporters Without Borders voiced concern today about the reported detention of a Thai blogger for the past 12 days under the new Computer Crime Act, which took effect on 18 July.

"We call on the information and communications technology ministry to take an official position on this arrest, which would be the first of its kind since the adoption of the Computer Crime Act," the press freedom organisation said. "It confirms our fears about the dangers of a law that is supposed to combat pornography but turns out to be a way of restricting and controlling press freedom."

The website site ( quotes a "reliable source" as saying a 36-year-old computer programmer was arrested because of comments posted anonymously on web forums. The offending post appears to have been one deemed "critical of the monarchy." After being held for six days at the Police Crime Suppression Division office, he was reportedly transferred to a Bangkok prison on 30 August.

The Computer Crime Act allows the police to seize computer files from people suspected of circulating insulting or pornographic messages. Information and communications technology ministry spokesman Vissanu Meeyoo said at the time its aim was "to prevent the owners of computers from transmitting pornographic content or libellous messages.


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Some backgrounds of the arrest

Background of the Story

Pichai and I were members of the underground board called propaganda. It is a free webboard that people chat about the Thailand-related stuffs especially on the topic of the Thai royalties, royal families, their involvement in Thai politics, the coups, their business, assets and stuff like that. Even it’s just a 2 months old, it is such a popular underground chat room with about 800 registered members and gains a huge number of visiting per day. Thai people have to access through web proxies or special program because it was banned from the ICT ministry (the same one who banned youtube).

For the foreign readers, this topic about the King and his family is a taboo for Thai people to talk publicly. Under the lese majeste law, you can be arrested and sent to prison if your action is deemed harmful or disrespectful to the King. Take a look at the recent case of Oliver Juifer, a swiss man and the ban of youtube from Thailand's ICT ministry.

Pichai has been a fixture of that chatroom since its inception in 22 June 2007 and people are impressed by his boldness of expression and his willingness to speak out frankly about the royal family without any fear. He has been a constant poster until his last log on in Aug 24. After that nobody was really sure of why he disappeared but no one speculated anything bad would happen.

Until some rumors had arrived that Pichai was arrested by a group of 50 police commandos who invaded his house, confiscated his computer and took him to police station and later to a Bangkok jail . But nobody was really sure about the news.

Ironically but understandably, we just first heard of the official news of his arrest from the foreign newspaper ( The Financial Times, 2007).

" Thailand's monarchy is shielded from public scrutiny by strict lèse-majesté laws, which make it a serious crime, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, to "defame, insult or threaten" the monarchy.

In addition to discouraging open expressions of criticism or disrespect, these draconian laws have been routinely invoked to quell public discussion within Thailand of the role that the palace - and those acting in its name - has played in the country's turbulent modern history.

A university philosophy professor is under investigation, and facing threats of jail, for asking students in an exam whether the monarchy was necessary for Thai society.

Last year, Thailand also quietly banned The King Never Smiles, a Yale University Press biography portraying King Bhumibol as "anti-democratic".

Thai authorities are struggling, however, to retain control over the image of the monarchy in the electronic media.

In recent weeks, authorities have used a new law to arrest two Thais for what were deemed particularly offensive comments about the monarchy on internet chatrooms, a senior Thai official told the FT."

None of Thai newspapers covered it at that time (later it appeared briefly in the Nation, Thailand English-language newspaper, but none in Thai-language newspaper at all).

After many confirmations, a small group of Thai activists and free-speech supporters from Same Sky Book Magazine tried to investigate and petition for the fair trial and civil treatment of Pichai while in custody. However, they have not received any positive response from the Thai officials yet.

That’s all I have for today. I will update more if I hear anything from this group.

my attempt on youtube


กรณีการจับกุม "เหยื่อ" ในความผิดตามกฎหมายคอมพิวเตอร์ฉบับใหม่

ตามที่ ไฟแนนซ์เซียลไทมส์ ฉบับสุดสัปดาห์ วันที่ 1-2 ก.ย. ที่ผ่านมา ได้รายงานโดยอ้างแหล่งข่าวซึ่งเป็นเจ้าหน้าที่รัฐระดับสูงของไทยว่า เมื่อไม่กี่สัปดาห์มานี้ มีคนไทย 2 คน ถูกจับกุม ตามความผิดใน พ.ร.บ. ว่าด้วยการกระทำผิดเกี่ยวกับคอมพิวเตอร์ เนื่องจากแสดงความเห็นโจมตีสถาบันพระมหากษัตริย์ ในห้องสนทนาบนอินเทอร์เน็ต

ขณะนี้จากข้อมูลที่ฟ้าเดียวกันได้รับ เป็นที่แน่นอนแล้วว่ามี “เหยื่อ” ตาม พ.ร.บ. ว่าด้วยการกระทำผิดเกี่ยวกับคอมพิวเตอร์ อย่างน้อย 1 คน ถูกคุมขังในเรือนจำกลางคลองเปรมโดยยังไม่ทราบชะตากรรม เป็นชายอายุ 36 ปี อาชีพโปรแกรมเมอร์อิสระ ผู้ใช้นามปากกาในห้องสนทนาบนอินเทอร์เน็ตว่า “พระยาพิชัย” ซึ่งข้อมูลจากแหล่งข่าวแจ้งว่า เจ้าหน้าที่บุกเข้าไปจับกุม “เหยื่อ” ขณะกำลังใช้คอมพิวเตอร์อยู่ในที่พักอาศัย โดยไม่แน่ชัดว่ามีหมายศาลหรือไม่ นอกจากนั้น ขณะนี้สถานภาพของ “เหยื่อ” ยังไม่ชัดเจนว่าถูกจับกุมในข้อหาอะไร ได้รับความปลอดภัยและสิทธิเสรีภาพตามกระบวนการยุติธรรมหรือไม่

ต่อกรณีดังกล่าว สำนักพิมพ์ฟ้าเดียวกันมีความเห็นต่อไปนี้

1. รัฐบาล และหน่วยงานที่เกี่ยวข้อง โดยเฉพาะกระทรวงเทคโนโลยีสารสนเทศและการสื่อสาร และสำนักงานตำรวจแห่งชาติ ต้องเปิดโอกาสให้มีการตรวจสอบว่าข่าวดังกล่าวเป็นความจริงหรือไม่ รวมทั้งอนุญาตให้ผู้สังเกตการณ์เข้าไปตรวจสอบในเรือนจำกลางคลองเปรมและที่ คุมขังอื่น

2. ถ้าหากการจับกุมดังกล่าวเป็นความจริง รัฐบาลและหน่วยงานที่เกี่ยวข้องต้องเคารพสิทธิของ “เหยื่อ” ในการต่อสู้เพื่อความยุติธรรมอย่างเต็มที่

4 กันยายน 2550

Arrests reported for cyber crime

Arrests reported for cyber crime

The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Minister yesterday denied any knowledge of two Thais being arrested under the new Computer Crime Act for posting offensive comments about the monarchy.Published on September 2, 2007

"I don't know about it. And if someone were arrested under the law, I would not be informed," Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom said when contacted by telephone.

The arrest was reported on the front page of the Financial Times' weekend edition. The paper quoted a senior official as saying that "in recent weeks, authorities have used a new computer crime law to arrest two Thais, now in custody, for offensive comments about the monarchy on Internet chat rooms".

The newspaper did not give any details about the arrest.

The Computer Crime Act, proposed by the ICT Ministry, took effect recently and allows police to seize computers of people suspected of disseminating "insulting or pornographic" content.

The law raised concerns among both local and international human rights organisations such as Reporters Without Borders, which said it might result in an increasingly restrictive policy towards free expression online.

Quiet arrest under Computer Crime Act

04 September 2007
A reliable source has told Prachatai that at least one person being detained in Bangkok Remand Prison for crimes against the new Computer Crime Act which came into effect on July 18, 2007. The detainee is a 36 year-old computer programmer who posted comments on web-boards using a well-known alias.

According to the source, the person was detained for 6 days at the Police Crime Suppression Division office before being transferred to the remand prison on August 30. He has yet to see his family members and consult a lawyer.

Fah Deaw Kan publishing house released a statement calling on the government and relevant agencies, especially the Information and Communications Technology Ministry and the police, to confirm this news and to allow observers to visit Bangkok Remand Prison and other prisons. And if there was an arrest, the government and its agencies must respect the detainee's right to justice, the publisher said.

On September 1-2, the weekend edition of the Financial Times reported that Thailand had lifted its ban on the video-sharing website Youtube, and quoted a high-level official as saying that in the past couple of weeks the authorities have arrested and detained two Thais who posted comments insulting to the monarchy on web-boards.