Thai Journalists Association
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.
Reporters Without Borders has asked the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to change its approach to updating the Computer Crime Act of 2007. The law already authorizes the government to arrest journalists and bloggers for political reasons. If a newly proposed amendment were adopted, the government would have even more latitude to muzzle the independent and opposition media.
The expressions of outrage at the sentencing of Somyot Prueksakasemsuk to 10 years for lèse majesté offences have, rather embarrassingly, been overwhelmingly from foreign organizations. Not only has the National Human Rights Commission, alongside the government, been the recipient of these protests, rather than the author of one or two, but the Thai Journalists Association has also so far maintained a studied silence.
ASTV-Manager has resigned from the board of the Thai Journalist Association in protest after the media body released a statement opposing the government’s closure of the red shirt People Channel or PTV. Its representative said the red-shirt TV should be closed because it is not loyal to the monarchy, unlike ASTV which adheres to what is right and just.
The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) expresses its concern over a statement made by Information and Communication Technology Minister Ranongrak Suwanchawee of Thailand threatening to pursue legal action against websites and their respective Internet service providers (ISPs) where posts discussing the King’s health allegedly caused the drop in the Thai bourse last month.