On June 29,Thai publisher Thanapol Eawsakul, editor-in-chief of the political academic publisher Same Sky Books, was arrested for "procuring and sharing information or documents kept secret for national security" and violation of the Computer Crimes Act, according to a picture of the arrest warrant posted to the Thai Lawyers for Human Right's Twitter account.
Eawsakul, who was shortlisted for the IPA's Prix Voltaire prize, was accused of the crime after he made a post to his personal Facebook page, in which he speculated that Special Branch police might be investigating diplomat Russ Jalichandra, former Thai ambassador to Mozambique and Kazakhstan and owner of the Facebook page “The Alternative Ambassador.”
Kristenn Einarsson, chair of the IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee, said in a statement: "This latest arrest of Thanapol Eawsakul is particularly concerning. His commitment to the freedom to publish has brought constant harassment from the Thai authorities for many years. This harassment has to stop."
Eawsakul's publishing house was raided in January with police reportedly seizing his computer and mobile phone while looking for the book Sathaban Phra Maha Kasat and Sangkhom Thai (The Monarchy and Thai Society) which was deemed to be a threat to national security, but is not published by Same Sky.
Eawsakul has been released from custody after Rangsiman Rome, a member of the Thai parliament, posted bail of 100,000 baht ($2,800) for him, the IPA said. Eawsakul now has to report in to the police every 15 days.
The IPA said it will continue to monitor the situation.