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Political activist Karn Pongpraphapan was arrested last night (7 October) by the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD), after an arrest warrant was issued for a violation of Article 14 of the Computer-related Crime Act, said Winyat Chatmontree, Karn’s attorney and the Secretary General of the United Lawyers for Rights and Liberty.

Karn Pongpraphapan (Source: Banrasdr Photo)

Winyat said Karn was taken into custody at 20.00 last night, most likely from his home. TCSD officers said an arrest warrant has been issued and that Karn would be questioned immediately during the night, and then they will file a detention request with the Criminal Court.

According to Winyat, TCSD said that this is a national security case, presenting a collage of pictures which show that Karn posted a message on his Facebook page about the history of monarchies in other countries and how they ended. For this, they accused Karn of making threats to the monarchy. However, he made no mention of the Thai monarchy on his Facebook page, which is no longer accessible.

Winyat said that usually a detention request can only be made in cases carrying severe penalties or if there is a likelihood that the accused will try to escape or tamper with the evidence. However, he said that if the detention request is approved, they will be requesting bail immediately. He said that for those accused of charges under the Computer Crime Act, the court often granted bail.

Karn was part of the movement calling for a general election in 2018, and has also faced legal prosecution for his activism.

Update, 8 October 2019, 16.30: 

Winyat Chatmontree, Karn's attorney, said that Karn has been granted provisional release by the Criminal Court on two conditions: that he does not post the same kind of message again, and that he does not receive a more severe charge. Winyat also said they had to post a bail of 100,000 baht.

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