Crisis harms free media | Bangkok Post: opinion

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Crisis harms free media

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Thailand has again fallen in the world press freedom rankings. But the story this time is different from past days, when government actions and censorship largely decided freedom of the press. Remarkably, two important groups have reached an identical conclusion that recent losses of freedom are not connected to censorship laws or abusive prosecutions. Freedom House of America and the Thai Journalists Association (TJA) both point to divisive political groups for intimidating, pressuring and ultimately bringing down freedom of the press. 

Freedom House last week cut Thailand's ranking to a shocking 141st place on the world list. The nation is only ranked 28th out of 40 Asian countries, appallingly tied with Malaysia and Pakistan.

The country's status of a media that is "not free" earned Thailand scores barely above Afghanistan, Singapore and Myanmar. Countries with a more free press than Thailand on the Freedom House list include East Timor, Nepal and Bhutan.

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