A TV station run by a prominent red shirt leader might be shut down for breaching a junta announcement. A commissioner of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) claims that the authorities failed to shut down the station under normal laws so used the alternative of the junta announcement.
On Sunday, 12 June 2016, Supinya Klangnarong, a commissioner of the NBTC, told
Prachatai by e-mail that the Communication Authority of Thailand (CAT) board by a 7:4 decision revoked the broadcast licence of Peace TV, a TV station run by Jatuporn Prompan, a key red shirt leader, for breaching a junta announcement.
According to Supinya, the revocation is due to three TV programmes which carried content that breached NCPO Announcements No. 97/2014 and 103/2014, which prohibit dissemination of content that instigates violence and misleads the public. However, the actual content leading to the revocation remains unreported.
Supinya said that this is the second time that the board had proposed revocation. Previously, the CAT board had decided to revoke the licence but Peace TV appealed the case to the Administrative Court. The court provided the station with temporary legal immunity.
Supinya added that CAT board usually revokes a licence under Article 37 of the NBTC Act which prohibits publication of content aiming to either uproot the constitutional monarchy or breach national security and ‘good morality.’ However, the case of Peace TV does not obviously breach the law so the board had to use the junta announcement.
Supinya personally disagreed with the decision, saying that it will worsen the civil rights situation in Thailand and will increase the climate of fear and censorship.
“By heavily punishing a TV station opposing the junta, people will think that NBCT lacks independence and is too involved in politics,” said Supinya. “I hope that the executive board of CAT will consider the issue carefully and use their power fairly.”
The day after this story became news, Peace TV filed a petition with the NBTC rejecting the allegation that the station had disseminated seditious content, adding that the revocation of its broadcast licence is an overreaction, Matichon Online reported
As a result, the CAT postponed the revocation, saying that the CAT will reconsider the issue after reviewing the Peace TV petition.