IFJ Supports Calls for End to Media Harassment in Thailand

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) supports calls by the Thai Journalists Association and the Thai Broadcast Journalists’ Association (TBJA) for an end to harassment of the media in Thailand.

From March 30, approximately 3,000 protestors calling themselves ‘caravan of the poor,’ protested at the Nation Multimedia group’s office in Bangna-Trat, Bangkok in anger at comments published by Kom Chad Luek newspaper on March 24, by anti-Thaksin protest leader, Sondhi Limthongkul, who later insisted he was quoted out of context.

Editors of Kom Chad Luek, apologised for the story, dismissed the reporter and duty editor responsible, declared a self-imposed three-day suspension to commence on March 31 and the newspaper editor voluntarily submitted his own resignation.

The protestors felt the comments published in the newspaper were insulting to the king. On March 30, the protestors sealed the entrance to the paper’s building and threatened not to leave until the paper announced an extension on its self-imposed suspension. The protestors moved at 6pm when the newspaper agreed to an additional suspension on April 8 and 9.

The IFJ supports its affiliate in Thailand, Thai Journalists’ Association (TJA) and its sister organisation, Thai Broadcast Journalists’ Association (TJBA) in its joint statement calling for an end to harassment of the media in Thailand and reiterates their calls for the protestors and the Thai public to respect the media’s right and freedom to perform their duties.

"The IFJ has deep concerns that the media has become a target for threats, violence and intimidation in Thailand," said IFJ president Christopher Warren.

"Intimidation and hindrance of journalists for doing the job of informing the public is unacceptable," said Warren.

For more information please contact IFJ Asia Pacific +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in over 110 countries