Press Freedom caught in the PDRC mob trap

FCCT POSITION ON MEDIA INTIMIDATION

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand is a journalists’ club which has a policy of strict neutrality in any political conflict. However, the club’s professional membership will speak out when the principles of freedom of expression and media freedom are threatened.

In this light, the professional membership of the FCCT is deeply concerned by continued reports of intimidation and threats against journalists covering the political unrest in Thailand.

Both local and foreign media have a vital role to play in documenting events and investigating their causes. Thailand is fortunate to have a rich variety of press, TV and websites offering a wide spectrum of perspectives on the conflict, and it is essential that they be allowed to do their job without fear of physical assault.

There have been numerous cases in recent weeks of journalists being threatened and harassed as they try to report from protest sites. There have also been incidents of TV stations being invaded and forced to broadcast items, and of media headquarters being surrounded and staff being coerced into public apologies for their reporting.

We urge the leaders of all sides in the current conflict to respect the right of bona fide journalists to do their jobs, whatever the affiliation of their employers, and to stop their supporters from threatening, obstructing or assaulting the media. Hopefully, this will promote better mutual understanding and improve the chances of a lasting resolution to the present political impasse.

(published on Thursday 28 February)

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