Journalists campaign to stop military intimidation of media

Journalists campaign to stop military intimidation of media

A group of journalists has launched a campaign on social media urging the military government to stop intimidating the media after the removal of a Thai PBS host whose questioning style upset military officers.

One of the journalists involved in the campaign told The Nation that the group wanted the junta to stop intervening in the media and revoke two regulations issued by the National Council for Peace and Order - No. 97 and No. 103 - which restrict media freedom.

"We chose social media as the platform to launch this campaign because it is an easy way to widely convey messages to the junta as well as to raise public awareness of the junta's harassment of the media," the journalist said.

"The actions of the junta in the Thai PBS case reflect that the junta does not sincerely want to reform the country."

Media and human rights groups on Saturday condemned what they described as severe harassment of the media following the military pressure that resulted in public broadcaster Thai PBS removing Nattaya Wawweerakup as host of its programme 'People's Voices that Need to be Heard before the Reform'.

The Thai Journalists Association, Thai Broadcast Journalists Association and Human Rights Lawyers Association issued a joint statement criticising the junta over its intimidation of the media.

The campaign by journalists includes the slogans "To sincerely reform, do not keep people's mouths closed" and "To threaten media is to threaten the people" with hashtags #fieldjournalist and #ThaiPBSjournalist.

It also features a picture of a monkey with its ears covered and its eyes and mouth closed.

Britain's Ambassador to Thailand Mark Kent was one who retweeted "To sincerely reform, do not keep people's mouths closed".

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