THE office of left-leaning Thai online newspaper Prachatai was raided by members of police and the military on Tuesday afternoon, where the premises were searched for evidence connected to the arrest of one of its journalists on Sunday.
Prachatai reporter Taweesak Kerdpoka was arrested along with three activists from the anti-junta group New Democracy Movement (NDM), Pakorn Areekul, Anucha Rungmorakot and Anan Loked.
The journalist was detained by police in the central province of Ratchaburi on Sunday while reporting on a group opposed to the military government.
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The four were charged with breaking a junta-imposed ban on campaigning against the draft charter. They were released by the Ratchaburi provincial court on Monday afternoon on bail amounting to 140,000 Baht (US$4,000) pending their trial.
The four were detained at the Ban Pong police station after authorities searched the vehicle they had been traveling in and found booklets published by the NDM against the draft charter, as well as stickers that said “Vote No”.
Five police officers from Sutthisan Police Station at around 2:50 pm searched Prachatai Office.
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According to Khaosod English, the authorities were looking for campaign materials related to the forthcoming charter referendum.
Prachatai’s managing editor Chuwat Rerksirisuk told Khaosod that five plainclothes police officers arrived at about 2.15pm to search the news portal’s newsroom in Bangkok’s Sutthisan area. The policemen were accompanied by five soldiers who waited outside the office.
Chuwat said the 10 police officers did not answer questions posed by reporters and left the newsroom at about 3.30pm.