Journalist Killed in Thailand's Troubled South

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is deeply distressed at reports that one journalist was killed and another injured in a bomb blast in the Sungai Kolok district of Narathiwat province in southern Thailand on August 21.


Chalee Boonsawat, a reporter for Thai Rath newspaper, was killed in the attack outside a restaurant in Sungai Kolok, a town near Thailand’s border with Malaysia.


Local news reports said Phadung Wannalak, a reporter with ModernNINE TV, as among the 30 people injured in the attack.


The Thai Journalists’ Association (TJA), the Confederation of Thai Journalists and the Thai Broadcast Journalists’ Association said in an open letter on August 22 that Chalee’s death was a “great loss to the Thai media community”.


“It is the first time a reporter has been killed in the conflict situation in the three southern-most provinces,” they said.


Long-standing unrest and violence plagues Thailand’s southern provinces as conflict between a Muslim separatist movement and local authorities continues without resolve.


“The death of Chalee Boonsawat and the injuries caused to Phadung Wannalak are a chilling reminder of the great danger faced by journalists working in conflict zones,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.


“The IFJ honours the courage of journalists such as Chalee and Phadung who risk their lives to provide the public with much-needed information, and calls on all media owners to ensure that adequate preparation and safety measures are provided to all media personnel working in notoriously dangerous locations.”


For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919


The IFJ represents over 600,000 in 122 countries worldwide