British journalist Andrew Drummond has left his Thailand patch after 25 years citing a “direct threat to the safety of himself and his three children”.
On his blog, he reports that the latest threat came from “foreign criminals in Thailand working in liason with the Thai police and Thailand’s Crime Computer Crime Act”.
He said: “My wellbeing has been threatened as have those of my children. This is not of course the first time, but the recent threat came from a group of people who have killed with impunity before, and have even had police set up people on false charges.”
Drummond added: “The Department of Special Investigations kindly invited me to sit in and work out of their offices on certain cases, but of course my primary function is as a journalist and matters I am dealing with cannot be written about safely in Thailand, and if I am to continue to function as a journalist it must happen outside Thailand’s borders.
“I have left information in Thailand which should be of use to the DSI and will remain on call should they need any clarifications.”
“On the matter of Thailand’s Computer Crime Act I have been supported alongside Alan Morison and Chutima Sudasathian of Phuketwan and migrant workers activist Andy Hall in statements by the British Ambassador and European Union.
“However statements are not going to protect my family.”
In a blog for Press Gazette last year, Drummond described himself as the “most sued journalist in the world”, referencing 20 libel cases brought against him.
In a statement on his departure from Thailand, he said: “I have successfully defeated a tranch of cases brought against me in the Thai courts. I could not have done that without the support of readers to my website.
“However criminals do not have to pay costs when they lose and they continue to take cases which are so ridiculous in their nature that they are not even worth spending the cash to defend.”