In a self-censored report, Khaosod alerts the world that “[p]olice raided the Bangkok home of a well-known British author and monarchy critic’s Thai family Friday morning, taking away his wife, 3-year-old son and father-in-law along with computers and other materials…. The raid took place about 7am at the home of the parents of Noppawan Bunluesilp, the wife of former Reuters reporter Andrew MacGregor Marshall, author of a banned book critical of the monarchy, one day after he shared stories from foreign media on Facebook that were unflattering to a member of the royal family.”
The report states that “Marshall and his wife have not lived in Thailand since 2011, but she was visiting with their young son when the raid took place on the Thonburi side of Bangkok. Marshall continues to frequently post comments critical of the institution on social media.”
Twenty officers with a court-approved search warrant confiscated “a computer, iPad, Iphone, seven passports and other documents inside nine transparent sealed bags…”.
Noppawan, 3-year-old Charlie and Noppawan’s father were taken away by police.
Lawyer Weeranan Huadsri “said that as of noon, police had refused to let him speak to Noppawan, saying it was because she was not yet charged with any crime.” He added: “Police want to know if she sent some lese majeste content or pictures to her husband or not…”. Weeranan said “police were looking for anything on Noppawan’s computer, iPad or iPhone deemed defamatory to the royal family.”
This sounds like a fishing expedition, an act of desperation by the regime, and an attempt to gain another hostage.
Update 1: AMM has posted plenty, including a statement, on Facebook. There’s a live statement and this, written statement:
My wife Noppawan “Ploy” Bunluesilp, 38, has worked as a journalist for Reuters and NBC. She is currently not working, and was visiting Bangkok with our son Charlie, who is 3. Ploy has never been involved in my journalism, I have always ensured that I work completely independently of her, both because of the risks and because she has her own views on Thai politics and does not share mine. There is no reason for police to detain her. If Thai police believe that I have broken Thai law they should seek my extradition to Thailand via legitimate international legal channels. It is unacceptable to harass an innocent woman simply because she is married to me.
Update 2: The Bangkok Post reports that Noppawan has been released. This may not be all good news because the regime appears agitated and angry. The reason for the detention today appears to relate to the Bild photos from yesterday: “The move followed Mr Marshall’s Facebook posts on Thursday showing the photos from and a link to a story related to the monarchy in a German tabloid…. On Friday morning the link to the page was blocked in Thailand for carrying ‘inappropriate content’. It was back online in the afternoon.”
Worryingly, it was also reported that “Pol Lt Gen Thitirat Nonghanpitak, commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau, said Mr Marshall had disseminated photos deemed insulting the institution for years and these shared photos were doctored.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Marshall has not published anything that we can recall that was not somewhere in the public record.
More worryingly, “Col Piyapong Klinphan, a junta spokesman, said the National Council for Peace and Order was looking into the case to find who else was implicated.” That people are harassed and threatened because of the junta and monarchy behaving badly or strangely is quite bizarre.