Thai authorities order immediate shutdown of red shirt TV

Thai authorities have issued an order to shut down immediately a TV station affiliated with the anti-establishment red shirts.  

Jatuporn Prompan, one of the key leaders of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), a red-shirt group, posted on his Facebook profile on Thursday evening that the authorities issued an order to immediately stop Peace TV, a TV station affiliated with the UDD, from being broadcast.      

The blackout order states that Peace TV would not be allowed to go on air from 8:30 pm on 30 April onwards.

Earlier on Monday, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission of Thailand (NBCT)’s Broadcasting Committee announced its decision to suspend Peace TV’s broadcasting license.

Natee Sukonrat, the chair of the NBCT’s Broadcasting Committee, said that the decision was made because the TV station repeatedly broadcast inappropriate programmes which are sensitive to national security.

On Thursday morning, Thanawut Wichaidith, a spokesperson of the UDD, led a group of Peace TV personnel and UDD members to the government’s Complaints Centre to submit a letter asking Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Prime Minister and junta leader, to repeal the NBTC order, reported Khaosod English.

In early April, the NBTC issued an order to suspend for seven days the broadcasting signals for Peace TV and TV 24, two TV stations affiliated with UDD.  Peace TV was barred from going on air from 10 to 16 April while TV 24 faced the same prohibition from 11 to 17 April.

The NBTC claimed that programmes on both stations caused public confusion and divisiveness, and incited conflict.