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Thailand

2011


Journalists die at high rates while covering protests in the Arab world and elsewhere. Photographers and freelancers appear vulnerable. Pakistan is again the deadliest nation. A CPJ special report

In Egypt, protesters demanding democratic change gather in Tahrir Square. (AFP)

Stark regional differences are seen as jailings grow significantly in the Middle East and North Africa. Dozens of journalists are held without charge, many in secret prisons. A CPJ special report

Journalists reporting on protests and civil unrest face a rising threat of detention. Here, Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian journalist. (Reuters)


Floodwaters have reached Bangkok. (AP/Sakchai Lalit)

Bangkok, October 25, 2011 - The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by reports that Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's government has tried to censor the citizen-journalist website Thaiflood, which has provided crucial news and information about massive flooding that has inundated one-third of the country's provinces. At least 350 people have been killed and millions dislocated by the natural disaster.  

Holding intermediaries liable for users' content

Earlier this month, I spoke as an expert witness in the ongoing trial of Chiranuch Premchaiporn, the editor of Thailand's Prachatai.com website, who is being criminally prosecuted under that country's Computer Crime Act and Lesé Majesté laws. The crime involves online posts allegedly disrespectful to Thailand's monarchy, but Chiranuch herself is not accused of originating or posting the commentary.

New York, September 26, 2011--The Thai government must bring to justice the perpetrators of the September 16 bomb attacks that killed a journalist and five other people in the country's insurgency-plagued southern region, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. 

Zunar displays a copy of his previously banned cartoons. (AP)

Three Southeast Asian journalists--Cambodia's Hang Chakra, Malaysia's Zulkiflee Anwar Ul Haque, or Zunar, and Thailand's Chiranuch Premchaiporn--were among the 48 awardees of the Hellman/Hammett grant, given to writers targeted with political persecution, who were recognized today by Human Rights Watch for their commitment to press freedom.

Bangkok, July 28, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned by the anti-royal charges filed against Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, a political activist and former editor-in-chief of the Voice of Taksin and Red Power partisan newsmagazines.

PAD protesters take to the streets in Bangkok on Friday on the final day of campaigning for Sunday's election. (AP/David Longstreath)

Bangkok, July 7, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the raid and seizure of broadcasting equipment by police at six community radio stations in Thailand's northeastern Nakhon Ratchasima province. The raids were staged two days after caretaker Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's government lost to the opposition Peua Thai party in general elections held on July 3. 

Bangkok, May 3, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the arrest and detention on lese majeste charges of Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, a political activist and editor-in-chief of the Thailand-based Voice of Taksin and Red Power news magazines. 

Bangkok, April 27, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists strongly condemns the closure by government authorities of at least 13 community radio stations in Thailand and calls on the government to cease its campaign of harassment against opposition-aligned media immediately.

Reuters

New York, March 24, 2011--A Thai police investigation concluded today that government security forces did not kill Reuters photographer Hiro Muramoto, left, during political violence in Bangok on April 10, 2010. But the Committee to Protect Journalists, expressing concerns that the investigation was not transparent, has called for a full, independent investigation into the Japanese journalist's death.

Reuters
Bangkok, February 28, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by inconsistencies in Thailand's official investigation into the killing of Reuters cameraman Hiro Muramoto, who was killed by gunfire while covering clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces last April 10 in Bangkok.

Thailand's Department of Special Investigation told reporters today that its investigations showed that Muramoto was apparently not shot by security forces. The findings contradict the state agency's preliminary conclusions about the journalist's death released and reported by news agencies late last year. Those findings indicated the shots that hit Muramoto came from a direction where troops were positioned at the time and were fired from an M-16 assault rifle. The agency denied it had been pressured to clear the army of responsibility.

Partisan Journalism and the Cycle of Repression

With journalists in their midst, police and protesters clash in Bangkok. (Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom)

by Bob Dietz and Shawn W. Crispin

Lal Wickramatunga's family and publishing house, Leader Publications, have paid dearly in Sri Lanka's highly charged political climate. While Leader's newspapers, including the weekly Sunday Leader, are widely known for tough, independent reporting, they have been caught up in a partisan media environment, one filled with violence and censorship. Wickramatunga's brother has been murdered, his company has been sued, and his journalists face intimidation.

Top Developments
• Using emergency decree, government blocks access to thousands of websites.
• CPJ faults government, protesters for lethal violence against media.

Key Statistic
2: Journalists killed during violent clashes between security forces and protesters in Bangkok.


Armed clashes between anti-government protesters and state security forces resulted in 91 deaths and more than 1,800 injuries, a toll that deepened Thailand's debilitating five-year-old political crisis. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva invoked an emergency decree to contain the protests and employed its discretionary powers to sharply curb press freedom, which included far-ranging Internet censorship.

A Thai editor's trial is being held amid a vigorous government clampdown on the Internet. Seen here, an Internet cafe in Bangkok. (Reuters/Sukree Sukplang)

Hearings commenced today in the trial of Chiranuch Premchaiporn, executive director of the Thailand-based independent news website Prachatai. She stands accused of 10 different violations of the country's draconian 2007 Computer Crime Act (CCA), each of which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.  

Bangkok, January 21, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned about the charges and threatened deportation of Thailand-based freelance photojournalists John Sanlin, a Burmese passport holder, and Pascal Schatterman, a Belgian national.

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Killed in Thailand

10 journalists killed since 1992

6 journalists murdered

6 murdered with impunity

Contact

Asia

Program Coordinator:
Bob Dietz

bdietz@cpj.org

Tel: 212-465-1004
ext. 140, 115
Fax: 212-465-9568

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Blog: Bob Dietz