Thailand

Thailand

Gagged by “Peace and Order”

For the past five years, Thailand’s journalists and bloggers have been spied on and censored by the euphemistically-named National Council for Peace and Order, the military junta set up by General Prayuth after the 2014 coup d’état. This ubiquitous and all-powerful junta has constantly hounded outspoken journalists, summoning them for questioning, detaining them arbitrarily and driving at least ten of them to flee the country. Any criticism of the junta is liable to lead to violent reprisals made possible by draconian legislation and a justice system that follows orders. The long-promised elections held in March 2019 made no difference. The junta’s contempt for press freedom is such that the opposition TV channel Voice TV was simply shut down for the duration of the election campaign. A cyber-security law adopted in February 2019 gave the executive even more powers and poses an additional threat to online information. The threat of a lèse-majesté charge carrying a possible 15-year jail sentence continues to be used as a weapon of mass deterrence against dissident journalists and bloggers. The authorities meanwhile behave in a very indulgent manner towards certain regimes: Chinese and Vietnamese operatives have been allowed to arrest dissident exile journalists or bloggers from their country in order to “repatriate” and then jail them.


136
in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index

Ranking

+4

140 in 2018

Global score

-0.21

44.31 in 2018

Contacts

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2019
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2019
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2019
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