To our audience, sponsors, and fellow media,
The Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has issued an order suspending Voice TV broadcasting for 15 days. Voice TV affirms that we have performed our duty as media with journalistic ethics in pursuit of providing impartial information in the best interests of our audience and society.
Voice TV strongly believes that well-balanced information and independent news analysis does not threaten security or peace and order in a democratic society, but will promote critical thinking in society, in order to lead to other developments in Thailand on the basis of the principles of freedom of expression and the equal right to be informed of the facts, different points of view, and well-balanced information.
Voice TV has long been treated unfairly and discriminated against by the NBTC. It is well known that Voice TV has been summoned to testify and punished several times since the coup in 2014. In January, Voice TV was summoned 3 times and was warned twice by the NBTC.
We believe the NBTC has apparently used its oversight powers against Voice TV as a special case, and may interpret and enforce the law in an unequal way compared with other media outlets.
The broadcasting suspension orders against Voice TV reflect an abuse of authority by an independent agency which was created on the idea that with agencies independent of government control, interference in the mass media would be banished. But we find that since the 2014 coup, this is the situation. Interference in the mass media by the NBTC is severe, affecting freedom of the press, freedom of expression, and freedom of the media as protected in the Constitution.
Thailand is heading towards an election within a few weeks. Any special agreements or measures should end now because what is essential for the electoral decisions of the people is comprehensive, balanced, and good quality information.
Voice TV believes that we have repeatedly been treated unfairly and it is time for us to stand up to protect our freedom and take legal action to set the limits of the NBTC's power in line with legal principles and the rule of law and on the basis of a respect for press freedom, which has been continuously questioned and challenged since the 2014 coup.
Voice TV will immediately pursue the case with the Constitutional Court, and will do everything to continue to provide news to the people.
CEO, Voice TV
[Note: The original version of this article was based on an inaccurate translation of the Voice TV statement which is now corrected.]
Voice TV's suspension
Source: Voice TV