Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Thai authorities to abandon any plan to prosecute Pravit Rojanaphruk, a well-known journalist and free speech advocate who is to be questioned by police tomorrow about a complaint accusing him of sedition in five Facebook posts. A leading critic of Thailand’s military junta and its lèse-majesté law, Pravit could face a possible 20-year jail sentence if prosecuted on a sedition charge under article 116 of the criminal code as a result of the complaint brought against him by a police lieutenant-colonel.
The police have accused a veteran journalist known for his anti-junta stand of sedition over Facebook posts critical of the junta. On 1 August 2017, Pravit Rojanaphruk, a senior reporter at Khaosod English, who has consistently criticised Thailand’s junta and the lèse majesté law, posted on his Facebook account that the Technology Crime Suppression Division accused him of violation of Article 116 of the Criminal Code, the sedition law.
On this World Media Press Freedom Day, the professional membership of the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand stands by its colleagues in Thailand's domestic media as they struggle to maintain professional standards and editorial independence in particularly challenging times. The National Reform Steering Assembly's draft Bill on the Protection of Media Rights lumps all 'media' together indiscriminately and misguidedly.
The military-appointed National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA) is proposing a bill that will create a media regulatory body to impose additional regulations for the media in Thailand. The bill on the “Protection of Media Rights and Freedom, Ethics and Professional Standards” is being vetted by the NRSA Subcommittee on Mass Media Communication, which presented the proposed law to journalist and media groups two weeks ago.
A Provincial Court has freed a Prachatai journalist and pro-democracy activists arrested over campaign leaflets for the draft charter referendum. The Provincial Court of Ratchaburi Province on Monday afternoon, 11 July 2016, granted permission to the police to detain Taweeesak Kerdpoka, a Prachatai journalist, three anti-junta NDM activists, Pakorn Areekul, Anucha Rungmorakot and Anan Loked, and Phanuwat Songsawadchai, a student activist from Maejo University, Phrae campus. However, at around 4:30 pm the court granted bail for each of the five for 140,000 baht.
A cartoonist for Matichon Weekly was summoned today to explain why he penned cartoons critical of a junta-backed draft constitution, even though they were from 10 months ago and referred to a different draft. For lampooning that first draft, which was rejected by junta-appointed lawmakers in September last year, the Election Commission said cartoonist Arun Watcharasawat must report himself next week to explain his action.
When a veteran reporter said, “Freedom of the press is freedom of the people” Tuesday, the junta chief advised her to watch herself. On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, members of the Thai Journalists Association clad in specially designed black t-shirts to mark the occasion, visited Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha today at government house. Within a few minutes of asking to revoke some of the junta’s orders against media freedom, Prayuth made his standpoint on the issue clear. “Isn’t the freedom we have right now enough?,” he asked.
The Thai military have summoned 2 journalists in the northern province of Chiang Mai for a discussion over a news report about a red bowl inscribed with Thai new year greetings from former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
The Thai junta has prohibited a well-known anti-junta journalist of Khaosod English News from attending a conference on World Press Freedom Day in Finland. Pravit Rojanaphruk, 48, a well-known anti-junta journalist from Khaosod English, on Wednesday morning, 30 March 2016, posted a message on his Facebook profile that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) had prohibited him from attending a conference on World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, to be held in Finland.