Junta bans journalist from attending press freedom day overseas

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.

He was invited by the Foreign Ministry of Finland to attend the conference.

Pravit told Prachatai that he submitted a document to ask for permission from the NCPO to travel overseas on 16 March. However, he was informed this morning by Lt Col Adisak Chiwichian that the journey must be postponed; in other words he is not permitted to attend the conference.   

“Junta rep. just rang me at 9 am saying the junta won't let me travel to Helsinki per invitation of the Finnish Foreign Ministry to observe World Press Freedom Day. If they think their carrot and stick tactic will work, then they must be mistaken as I am resolute to carry out my duty to scrutinize and criticize them without fear or favour,” Pravit wrote on his Facebook status.

He told Prachatai that the ban might be related to a Facebook picture of him putting up a middle finger against the first draft constitution, which was used in an article published on Prachatai written by him.

After the article was published, Khaosod executives were pressured by the authorities and he had requested Prachatai to remove the picture from the article, added Pravit.

Pravit was twice summoned by the NCPO for so-called attitude adjustment sessions.

He said that he was still able to travel overseas after he was freed from his first attitude adjustment session and this is the first time that he has been barred by the NCPO from travelling overseas.

Pravit Rojanaphruk (file photo)