ElectionGudie

RSF report on violence against the media in Thailand

July 16, 2010, 10:19 a.m.


In April and May of this year, Thailand was engulfed in destabilizing political violence, which killed 90 people.  Among those killed were two journalists.  These deaths, coupled with government censorship of the country's media, has led Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontieres) to call for an independent inquiry into crimes against journalists.  The organization has released a publication, which documents incidents of violence and concludes that both sides in the conflict failed to adequately protect the media.

The evidence and accounts gathered by Reporters Without Borders suggest that the Thai army and special forces did not act with the required restraint to protect the lives of the many journalists reporting in the field. They did not try to prevent journalists from covering the events, but the rules of engagement and the lack of professionalism on the part of the soldiers led to serious incidents that could have been avoided. Similarly, the armed Red Shirt activists deliberately exposed Thai and foreign journalists to mortal danger.

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