Economist Pulled From Thai Newsstands Over Cover Story Critical Of King

The Economist failed to appear on newsstands in Thailand this week because its cover story critical of the country's revered monarch risked landing its local distributors in jail.

The article, which broke the taboo about discussion of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 81, the world's longest-serving monarch, seemed certain to run foul of Thailand's draconian lese-majesty laws.

Thailand's foreign ministry maintained there was no formal ban on the magazine. It said there had been "self-censorship" of the edition, which carried the cover headline The King and Them: the Royal Role in Thailand's Chaos.

The article made much of the "self-censorship" exercised by journalists and diplomats in Thailand, fearful of laws that threaten up to 15 years in jail for anyone insulting the royal family.

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