Thai publisher’s arrest concerns International Publishers Association

The International Publishers Association (IPA) has expressed concern over the continuing harassment and arrest of the Thai publisher Thanapol Eawsakul, editor-in-chief of Same Sky Books. The publisher, who is shortlisted for this year’s Prix Voltaire freedom to publish prize, is accused of violating Thailand’s Computer Crimes Act and sharing classified information that could affect national security. He has been released on bail and now has to report to his local police station every 15 days while awaiting trial. The IPA remains concerns over his prospects for a fair and open trial.

Kristenn Einarsson, Chair of the IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee said: “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.”

The publishing house had already been raided in January 2022 with police reportedly seizing Thanapol’s computer and mobile phone while looking for the book Sathaban Phra Maha Kasat and Sangkhom Thai (Monarchy Institution and Thai Society). The book was deemed to be a threat to national security but is not published by Same Sky.

The IPA says it remains “concerned about the future of the serially harassed publisher”.