Submitted on Fri, 23 May 2014 - 08:13 AM
The National Peace and Order Maintenance Council (NPOMC), a special security body led by coup maker Army Chief Prayuth Chan-ocha, announced several orders early on Friday morning which aim at limiting the freedom of expression and information of Thai citizens.
These measures were added after many TV channels and radio stations were forced to stop broadcasting their own programmes and only relay signals from the army’s TV and radio stations. The measures this time apply to all kind of media, including online media.
The order prohibits all kind of media, including online media, from spreading the following kind of information:
false information, information deemed a threat to national security, defamation, criticism of the role of the NPOMC, state secrets, information which may lead to confusion, conflict and unrest, information about an assembly which aims to oppose the authorities, and information which threatens an individual.
Activists protest against the imposition of martial law to limit freedom of expression in northern Chiang Mai Province.
The junta also ordered all Internet Service Providers to “monitor, check and block the dissemination of information which is distorted, incites [violence] or which may lead to unrest in the kingdom or affect national security or contravene public morals.” The ISPs had to report to the National Broadcasting Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) at 10.30 am on Thursday.
The junta had earlier “asked for cooperation” from online social media operators not to disseminate “provocative … information inciting unrest,” or “anti-junta” messages. Otherwise the NPOMC will shut down all their operations and prosecute those who violate the order.
It also summoned former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and several other key Pheu Thai party members, including Somchai Wongsawat, former prime minister and a brother-in-law of Yingluck, and former cabinet minister Chalerm Yoobamrung to report to the junta at the Army Auditorium building at 10 am on Friday.
All state authorities at the level of director-general and above were also to report to the junta.