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Thailand 4 August 2008

Newspaper reporter shot dead at home in southern city

Reporters Without Borders is outraged by the murder of Athiwat Chainurat, a reporter for the Matichon newspaper group, in the southern city of Nakhon Si Thammarat. His wife and children found him lying in a pool of blood when they returned home on 1 August. He had been shot four times.

“We call on the competent authorities to act quickly with the aim of shedding full light on this murder and bringing those responsible to justice. It is vital that the investigation should concentrate on those who masterminded this clearly premeditated killing.”

Matichon’s editors think Athiwat’s murder is linked to his reporting. His wife, Pornpimol Chainurat, said he had been having problems for some time with local politicians because of what he had been writing, and he felt threatened. He went out as little as possible and had even asked her to vary her routes when she returned home.

Athiwat, 48, had recently shared his fears with Region 8 police chief, Lt. Gen. Thani Tawitsri. Thani’s deputy, Maj. Gen. Santhan Chayanon, has been put in charge of the case.

The Thai Journalists Association (TJA) has urged the police to lose no time in identifying the mastermind.




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