The Administrative Court has ruled that the 15-day suspension of outspoken Voice TV is invalid, and given the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) 30 days to consider an appeal.
Suspension on Voice TV
On 27 February, the Administrative Court ruled on the dispute between Voice TV and the NBTC. The Court said that the moderators of Wake Up News and Tonight Thailand did not cause confusion and division in the general public, even though they offer analysis and criticism of government agencies and public figures.
The Court also said that the NBTC did not show evidence of damage done by Voice TV. Therefore, the 15-day suspension from 12-27 February during the election campaign is legally invalid. The Administrative Court had earlier set aside the suspension temporarily.
Sirote Klampaiboon protesting against Voice TV's suspension
Regarding the claim by NBTC that Voice TV had repeatedly offended, the Court commented that Voice TV should have been given a chance to explain its actions before being suspended, but there was no mention of repeated offences in the letter sent by the NBTC to suspend Voice TV. This claim cannot therefore be used against Voice TV.
Makin Petplai, CEO of Voice TV, made a statement that Voice TV has received the decision and is very pleased for freedom of the press and the media industry in Thailand. He said that he is willing to cooperate with the NBTC so that broadcasting can proceed without obstacles and hopes that this case will set a standard for government agencies to maintain political neutrality and take into consideration freedom of the press and freedom of expression.