SEAPA Alert: Thai cops, soldiers raid Karen media office

// SEAPA Alert: Thai cops, soldiers raid Karen media office 
8 February 2010
Source: Mizzima News

Thai police and soldiers conducted a surprise raid on the Karen
Information Centre (KIC) based in the Thai border town of Mae Sot
on 4 February 2010.

About 20 Mae Sot-based policemen and soldiers, armed with search
warrants, entered the news agency office at 6 a.m., conducted a
search ostensibly for illegal drugs and weapons, and took
photographs of the premises.

“There was no one in our office at the time. They entered and
ransacked it,” KIC editor Nan Phau Ge told Mizzima.
Before raiding and searching the news agency office, Thai security
men entered and searched the residence of Karen National Union
(KNU) party leader David Tharkapaw.

A family member present at the time said, “The police searched both
upstairs and downstairs. They found nothing in our house and took
photographs. They  carried service revolvers. The KIC office was
closed when they entered so they forced open an upstairs window
through which three policemen entered the building, took out KIC
newspapers and dropped them outside”.

This is the first ever incident of the KIC office being searched
and raided on suspicion of keeping illegal drugs and arms, editor
Nan Phau Ge said. KIC disseminates news about the Karen region and
its people, a Burmese ethnic group.

She also said that personnel in a Thai army truck took photographs
of the KIC office’s façade on 2 February at about 9 a.m. They
searched the building with a search warrant today.

“They came looking for arms and illegal drugs. It was just an
excuse,” a KNU leader said.
This was the third time that KNU leader Pado David Tharkapaw’s
house has been raided and searched.

Mizzima News ( ) is a news organization
headquartered in New Delhi, India, run by exiled Burmese
journalists. A SEAPA partner, it aims to promote awareness about
the situation in Burma and promote democracy and freedom of
expression in the country.

Southeast Asian Press Alliance.
Bangkok Office: 3B, 3rd floor, Thakolsuk Place, No. 115 Terddumri Road, Dusit, Bangkok 10300. Tel. (662)2435579 Fax.(662)2448749

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Published in: on February 8, 2010 at 07:51  Leave a Comment  
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