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Media, free expression under threat in wake of coup — SEAPA

September 21, 2006
Military asserts rules for Thai media following coup, silences dissenting voices, arrests demonstrators

Two days into the peaceful military takeover in Thailand, freedom of expression and the media is under threat as the interim Administrative Reform Council moves to isolate deposed caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and clamps down on expressions against the coup.

Foreign and local journalists still enjoy unrestricted movement, and the Internet seems to be left untouched by the military. However, local English broadsheet “The Nation” reports that the Council on 20 September empowered the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to censor reports that are deemed conflicting to its interests.

The same day, international satellite-transmitted news services CNN and BBC were censored when the news programme featured background information on Thaksin. The screen went black before resuming, presumably after the Thaksin feature was finished.

On 21 September, an interview with the Council on a local television channel was cut short when reporters asked about Thaksin.

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September 21, 2006 Posted by | Free Expression in Asia | 1 Comment