Afrique Ameriques Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Thailand 20 May 2009

Internet censorship to be followed by censorship of radio and TV

Reporters Without Borders is alarmed by a government announcement on 14 May that it will introduce new regulations for community radio stations and cable and satellite TV stations aimed at controlling programme content. Broadcasters would be required to seek permission for each programme being aired, the government said.

“The adoption of these regulations would deal a fatal blow to free expression in Thailand, which is already heavily restricted on the Internet,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The government will have the power to ban programmes that question their policies and legitimacy. We urge the authorities to scrap this plan.”

Sathit Wongnongtoey, the minister in charge of the prime minister’s office, said the regulations would enable the authorities to take action against any broadcaster airing content deemed to undermine democracy. They would be enforced even-handedly with both “red-shirt” (anti-government) and “yellow shirt” (pro-government) broadcasters, Sathit said.

“Once the regulations take effect, any broadcast station airing content deemed to be politically incendiary will not be allowed to operate,” he added.

The communication ministry has been censoring the Internet strictly since January, ridding it of all content that is deemed to be “politically incendiary” or to “attack the king.” Suwicha Thakor, for example, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on 3 April on a lese majeste charge for posting content critical of the monarchy online.




In this country
29 April - Thailand
Reporters Without Borders and 31 other organisations urge Thai government to amend lese majeste law
27 April - Thaïland
Censorship lifted on some websites
3 April - Thaïland
Internet user gets ten years in jail for posting content that “defamed” monarchy
3 March - Thailand
Leading Swiss TV reporter arrested, then forbidden to leave country
21 February - Thailand
“Immense relief” after Harry Nicolaides is pardoned and flies home

in the annual report
Thailand - Annual report 2008
Thailand - Annual report 2007
Thailand - Annual report 2006

reports
4 May 2009 - Nepal
Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity
2 April 2009 - Pakistan
Fact-finding visit by Reporters Without Borders to Swat “valley of fear”
16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
Report of fact-finding mission : Press freedom in free-fall in run-up to presidential election
archives

Asia archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Asia press releases
3 June - North Korea
Pyongyang judges asked to be lenient with two American journalists
3 June - Afghanistan
US forces arrest a journalist in Khost
3 June - China
“Tank Man” photo displayed outside Chinese embassy in Paris on eve of Tiananmen Square massacre
2 June - China
Blocking of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger deprives Chinese of Web 2.0
2 June - Sri Lanka
Press freedom activist badly beaten in Colombo, hospitalised