Submitted on Thu, 2017-11-16 17:14
After two meetings with security officers, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT) released a statement on 15 November 2017 announcing the cancellation of a press briefing, “Vietnam — 165 Prisoners of Conscience, 999 Years Behind Bars”.
The cancellation came after two meetings with soldiers and police officers at Lumpini Police Station on Tuesday afternoon.
According to the FCCT, the press briefing was to be hosted by Boat People SOS, a non-profit organisation devoted to Vietnamese-American civic and political activism. The event was originally scheduled for 15 November.
“The panellists were intending to discuss the overall human rights situation in Vietnam, the imprisonment of at least 165 prisoners of conscience with heavy sentences, and the recent launch of the NOW! Campaign, an initiative by 15 human rights organisations around the world, calling for the immediate and unconditional release of these men and women,” the statement read.
Under the military regime, events at the FCCT have been repeatedly cancelled because of pressure from authorities. In June 2015, the police asked the FCCT to cancel a seminar on “Article 112: its role in Thai society”, reasoning that discussion of the royal defamation law was seditious and would cause social conflict.
In May 2017, another seminar on the missing 1932 Revolution Plaque was cancelled. Police officers claimed that the cancellation order came directly from the ruling junta.
Vietnamese activists call for the release of prisoners of conscience at the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN People Forum held in Philippines