Journalists decry threats
- Published: 12/01/2013 at 07:17 PM
- Online news:
The Thai Journalists Association on Saturday issued a statement calling for the army to stop threatening the media.
The TJA was responding after two days of rallies by soldiers upset with criticism by ASTV Manager of Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha. The army chief on Saturday ordered soldiers to stop the protests at the media group's headquarters.
The TJA said threats against the media could prevent the public from obtaining facts.
There were reports that some army personnel had barred reporters of ASTV-Manager and its satellite TV station from covering news inside army compounds.
ASTV Manager is a mouthpiece for the yellow-shirt People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) and a vocal critic of the current government.
The PAD for a long time had seen the army as its natural ally but the yellow shirts believe Gen Prayuth has allowed the army to become a tool of the red shirt-influenced government.
The TJA statement called for the army to respect freedom of the press. If the army feels the media have violated its rights, it can file a complaint with the National Press Council.
As well, it said the army chief should listen to media coverage that fairly reflected the army's and his performance without bias and in a constructive way.
At the same time, it said, all media should perform their duty in reporting news and expressing views in line with ethics.
They should refrain from distorting the facts or abusing the dignity and human rights of people appearing in the news. They should also refrain from using rude or insulting words, it said.