Friday 13 December 2019

Thai police ban book on monarchy

Sarah Stack

Thai police have banned imports of a book written by a Scottish journalist because they view it as insulting the country's monarchy.

The book, A Kingdom In Crisis by Andrew MacGregor Marshall, was released last week by British publishing house Zed Books.

It has contents that might affect national security and order, according to Thai national police chief General Somyot Poompanmoung.

According to the order, those violating the ban will face a maximum jail term of three years or a maximum fine of 60,000 baht , or both.

The ban came as a crackdown against anti-royalist campaigners intensifies after a coup earlier this year.

In 2006, Thailand banned imports of a biography of King Bhumibol Adulyadej published by Yale University Press.

Thailand's lese majeste law, which punishes people who defame, insult or threaten the monarchy, is among the world's harshest, providing for jail terms of three to 15 years.

The country's military government, which took power from an elected administration after a coup in May, has made one of its priorities to protect the monarchy's reputation.

The ban was based on reviews of the book in Hong Kong's South China Morning Post and the UK's Independent newspapers, according to the police chief

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