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Government wants to ban 10,000 websites for contravening lese majeste laws, instead of 400

(SEAPA/IFEX) - On 19 January 2009, Thailand's Justice Minister Pirapan Salirathavibhaga said that websites containing information considered as lese majeste are increasing, media reports said.

The "Bangkok Post" quoted Pirapan as saying that more than 10,000 such websites have content that allegedly insults the Thai royal family.

Lese majeste is a criminal offense in Thailand.

This development comes on the heels of the recent blocking of websites that allegedly make defamatory remarks against Thailand's revered monarch and members of his family.

Earlier this month, Information and Communication (ICT) Minister Ranongruk Suwanchawee said the government has blocked 2,300 websites for allegedly insulting the country's monarchy, with 400 more awaiting a court order to restrict them.

Meanwhile, on 19 January, a Thai court sentenced an Australian author to three years' imprisonment for insulting a member of the royal family.

"Verisimilitude," a novel written by Harry Nicolaides, allegedly made critical remarks against Thailand's crown prince. Nicolaides was arrested in August 2008.

Updates the alert on websites blocked under lese majeste laws:

For further information on the Nicolaides case, see:

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