Submitted on Sun, 25 May 2014 - 06:58 PM
The professional membership of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand is deeply concerned by the detention of journalists by the new military authorities in Thailand, following the imposition of martial law on Tuesday and a full coup d’etat on Thursday.
Thanapol Eawsakul, the editor of Same Sky magazine, was arrested following an anti-coup protest on Friday. On Sunday, 25 May, Pravit Rojanaphruk, a journalist with The Nation newspaper, was taken into custody after answering a summons to report to the military.
The military is already imposing strict censorship on the media, blocking access to foreign television networks, restricting what Thai networks can broadcast and blocking hundreds of internet websites. While this may impede coverage in the short term—and make it harder for journalists on the ground to produce accurate, balanced reports—it will not diminish interest in this story or make it go away.
Freedom of expression and the right of journalists to work without fear of arrest or physical violence are core principles of the FCCT. The professional membership of the FCCT therefore urges the new military government to stop detaining journalists, lift media restrictions and release those already being held.
At this difficult time for Thailand, the free flow of reliable information is vital to finding a peaceful resolution to this long-running and seemingly intractable political conflict.