Thai Journalists Detained by Undercover Police over Alleged Support for Vandalism on Wat Phra Kaews Wall


On February 12th, 2024, Prachatai news media reported that a Prachatai reporter and a freelance photographer were captured by undercover police for allegedly supporting vandalism on ancient sites with messages against Section 112 and anarchist symbols on March 28th, 2023.

According to Prachatai media, the Prachatai reporter, publicly identified as Mr. Natthaphon Meksophon, and a freelance photographer for Prachatai, publicly identified as Mr. Natthaphon Phanphongsanon, and other news agency reporters followed up on the incident in which a 25-year-old artist, publicly identified only as Mr. Bangeun, wrote messages against Section 112 of the criminal code regarding monarchy and anarchist symbols on the wall of Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok.

However, the arrests were made on Natthaphon Meksophon and Natthaphon Phanphongsanon without their prior acknowledges of the allegations, according to Prachatai media.

Meanwhile, Prachatai’s editorial team and a lawyer reportedly negotiated with the police to visit the reporter at the police interrogation room. It was reported that both the reporter and freelance photographer denied the allegations and requested bail.

However, the reporter and freelance photographer were transferred to Chalong Krung police station, and Thung Song Hong police station, respectively. The lawyer can apply for bail during the investigation with the court instead, according to the police.

Mr. Thewarit Maneechaim the executive editor of Prachathai news agency, publicly gave a statement regarding the incident that both of the arrested staff simply reported the news and did not support the illegal act. Thewarit also said that their position was not to oppose, but to present the facts according to the events that occurred.

As of late afternoon on February 13th both the reporter and the photographer had been granted bail for 35,000 Baht each.

Kittisak Phalaharn
Kittisak has a passion for outgoings no matter how tough it will be, he will travel with an adventurous style. As for his interests in fantasy, detective genres in novels and sports science books are parts of his soul. He works for Pattaya News as the latest writer.