Radio broadcasts censored
(TJA/IFEX) - The TJA has condemned the Supreme Commander Headquarters for censoring radio broadcasts by "Manager Daily".
In a 13 November 2000 letter to "Manager Daily", Lt. Maj. Thanongsak Duvinanda, a member of the Administrative Committee for Radio and Broadcasting of the Supreme Commander Headquarters, ordered that all radio broadcast materials produced by the newspaper for "karava phaendin" must be reviewed by his committee beforehand; otherwise, they would be taken off the air and a lawsuit would subsequently be launched.
The TJA views this action as a blatant attempt to limit freedom of expression, speech, writing and printing, including critical analysis of and commentary on the government's performance, which is stipulated in Article 39 of the 1997 Charter. If a radio broadcast inflames individuals or groups, existing jurisprudence should be used instead of employing measures which run counter to a free press.
The TJA has appealed to both Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai and Khunying Supatra Masdit, the Prime Minister's Office's minister, to halt these actions immediately.
Meanwhile, "Manager Daily" informed the TJA that at 1:30 a.m. (local time) on the night of 15 November, a group of young men dressed liked soldiers broke into its office. They injured the staff and ransacked the office's properties. If this act was carried out in connection with the "Manager Daily"'s journalistic practice, the TJA views this matter with severity. The TJA condemned this action and called on the Royal Thai Police Headquarters to find and prosecute the culprits as soon as possible.