Thai junta tracks Internet posting to capture protest leader

Fri Jun 6, 2014 12:21pm EDT
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By Amy Sawitta Lefevre

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai security forces tracked down and detained a prominent activist who helped organise protests against last month's military coup from comments he posted on the Internet, officials said on Friday.

Sombat Boonngamanong was caught in Chonburi province east of Bangkok late on Thursday, traced via the Internet network he was using, said Major General Pisit Pao-in, of the Information and Communication Technology Ministry.

"Soldiers and police were informed of the IP address used by Sombat to post comments so we searched a house in Chonburi and found Sombat there. We detained him. He is now with the army at an army base in Chonburi," Pisit told Reuters.

"The case is now with the army and it will investigate and decide how to proceed next."

The military has cracked down hard on pro-democracy dissidents and supporters of ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra since it took power last month.

Yingluck, her ministers and prominent supporters of the Shinawatras have been detained, most for brief periods, and warned against anti-military activity. The military has not said how many people are being kept in custody.

DEFIANCE   Continued...

Sombat Boonngamanong, 42, founder of the Mirror Foundation and well-known civil society activist, poses for a picture in Bangkok July 13, 2010. REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang/Files