Red shirts petition UN over Peace TV ban
published : 4 May 2015 at 21:56
writer: Online Reporters
Red shirt leader Weng Tojirakarn and news anchors from the now-defunct Peace TV submitted a petition to the United Nations on Monday to protest the revocation of its broadcasting licence.
The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship chief presented the protest letter to Yu Kanosue, a officer with the Office of High Commission on Human Rights for Southeast Asia at the UN’s headquarters on Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue.
The petition asks the UN to call on Thailand to comply with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which concerns the right to freedom of expression, after the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission banned Peace TV from the airwaves.
After submitting the document, Mr Weng and other news anchors released four white pigeons as a symbol of freedom for the media.
The group then read a statement saying the UN designated May 3 as the World Press Freedom Day, but a governmental organisation breached Thai and international laws by closing Peace TV. They appealed to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to call on the government to restore justice and stop blocking freedom of the local press.
On April 27, the NBTC revoked the licence of the red-shirt affiliated station for broadcasting content it claimed "could stir unrest". Previously, the NBTC's committee suspended the station's licence for seven days from April 10 for running programmes that the commission said could incite conflicts.
The most widely recognised statement from Article 19 states that “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.