The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is shocked by the
brutal murder on January 13 of owner
and editor of Inside Phuket,Wisut
"Ae" Tangwittayaporn, in Thailand’s southern island of Phuket.
44, in addition to being the driving force behind Inside Phuket, was also a leading member of the United Front for
Democracy Against Dictatorship, popularly known as the ‘red shirt’ movement, whose
protests brought Bangkok
to a standstill in 2010.
According to Thai police, Wisut was attacked by two men on motorcycles
while driving in the Muang district of Phuket with his wife. The assailants
shot four times through the front windshield of Wisut’s car, hitting him twice
in the chest and once in the right shoulder. He died from his injuries at
nearby Vajira Phuket hospital.
Police are investigating the murder, and have advised the media that
they now believe the attacks were a response to Wisut’s reporting of the illegal issuing of land
titles in Phuket.
“It is essential that Thailand’s
journalists are able to continue reporting safely on matters of great concern
to the public,” IFJ Asia-Pacific
Director Jacqueline Park said.
authorities must therefore follow through on their promise to fully investigate
the murder of Wisut Tangwittayaporn, to send a clear message that attacks on
journalists will not be tolerated.”
Wisut is the first media worker to have been killed in Thailand this
year. On September 24, 2011, another Thai journalist, Phamon Phonphanit, was killed in a bomb blast in the Sungai Kolok district
of Narathiwat province in southern Thailand.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
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