Police intimidate family of British journalist wanted for lèse majesté

The Thai police have intimidated the family of the wife of a former Bangkok-based British journalist wanted for lèse majesté.

At 3 pm on 18 January 2017, Ruedieewan Lahthip, the mother-in-law of Andrew MacGregor Marshall, a British journalist accused of lèse majesté, told BBC Thai that two policewomen in plainclothes visited her house to look for her daughter, Noppawan "Ploy" Bunluesilp, 39.

As Noppawan was not at home, the policewoman told Ruedeewan that their superior would like Marshall not to post information deemed defamatory tothat defames the Thai Monarchy online again.

“They were polite and said “please tell Andrew that [if he likes or does not like certain things] he should keep this to himself and not post [certain] images, so his child can come back to Thailand with no worries,” Ruedieewan told the BBC Thai.  

On the same day, Marshall wrote on his Facebook account, “I'm terribly sad and angry to hear from Ploy, the mother of my son Charlie, that three plainclothes Thai police arrived at her family's house in Bangkok again today to make threats to them as result of my journalism about Thailand. They harassed and threatened Charlie's grandmother, who was there alone at the time.”

He added, “If you have a problem with my journalism, deal with it with me. Stop harassing Ploy and her family just because we were married and she is the mother of my son.”

The visit was made shortly after Marshall posted certain messages on his Facebook account with references to the Thai Monarchy and recently declassified CIA documents dated back since to 1957.

Earlier on 22 July 2016, police arrested detained Noppawan and interrogated her for several hours after officers searched her family home in Bangkok.

She was arrested detained after Marshall posted certain images from a German tabloid deemed lèse majesté. Noppawan told the police then that she wais not involved in any of her husband’s posts.

Marshall has not lived in Thailand for several years and is accused of lèse majesté under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law. He is the author of "A Kingdom in Crisis," a book which is banned in the country.  

Noppawan "Ploy" Bunluesilp, Marshall's wife, at the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok on 22 July 2016 (Photo from Marshall's Facebook account)