Thai press freedom ranked low

Press freedom in Thailand improved slightly last year compared with the rest of the world, a report by the group Reporters Without Borders said.

  • Published: 8/02/2013 at 11:26 AM
  • Newspaper section: breakingnews

But Thailand remained deep in the world rankings of media freedom, in 135th place of 179 countries ranked, and behind the likes of Afghanistan, Bhutan, East Timor and even Libya.

"The press is much freer in Thailand than in neighbouring countries," the report said, but then attacked the government for its treatment of internet media.

"Online freedom of expression began to deteriorate from the moment the new Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra assumed power in July 2011," said the report by Reporters Without Borders.

It cited in particular prosecution under the lese majeste law and commented, "Apparently the government has forgotten its promises to amend Article 112 of the Thailand Penal Code."

Despite the strong criticism of abuse of online media, Reporters Without Borders, known as RSF from its name in French, boosted the country's overall media freedom from 137th in the world a year ago.

On its world map of press freedom, Thailand is coloured red, for "difficult situation" for the press.

Neighbours Myanmar, Malaysia and Cambodia also were in red, while Laos and Vietnam were black, like China. All three ranked below Thailand.

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