Thai website operator jailed for 13 years

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The administrator of an anti-government website has been jailed for 13 years on charges of defaming the monarchy and violating the Computer Crime Act.

The Criminal Court yesterday gave Thanthawut Taweewarodomkul 10 years for defaming the monarchy and three years for breaching a broadly defined information law.

The 38-year-old ran a website affiliated with the Red Shirt movement, whose aggressive street protests last year deteriorated into violence.

Thailand's constitution guarantees freedom of speech but the government has blocked access to thousands of websites it considers subversive, especially since the demonstrations. The Computer Crime Act addresses hacking and other online offences, but also bars material deemed detrimental to national security or that causes panic.