Peace TV fights on to reclaim licence

Peace TV fights on to reclaim licence

NHRC commissioner Niran Pitakwatchara (right) receives a complaint filed by representatives of the unplugged red-shirt Peace TV channel on Thursday. (Photo from Peace TV's Facebook page)
NHRC commissioner Niran Pitakwatchara (right) receives a complaint filed by representatives of the unplugged red-shirt Peace TV channel on Thursday. (Photo from Peace TV's Facebook page)

Red-shirt leader Weng Tojirakarn petitioned the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday against the NBTC’s April 30 order permanently shutting down Peace TV.

Mr Weng, accompanied by three women news anchors from the former channel, presented the protest letter to NHRC commissioner Niran Pitakwatchara. He submitted that the decision by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) to pull the plug on Peace TV was unjust and illegal.   

The same group submitted a similar letter to the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights for Southeast Asia at the United Nations office in Bangkok on Friday. 

"On April 30, we were ordered shut without prior notice. The NBTC’s action did not comply with the law and is unjust,” Mr Weng declared. “There was no setting up of a fact-finding committee to pursue the case and the penalty is outside mandatory protocol."

Mr Niran said the NHCR would discuss the issue on May 20 and invite representatives from Peace TV and the NBTC to give information.  

He made the point that the NHRC did not have legal authority and could only submit recommendations based on its findings in the case to the relevant agencies. Peace TV executives could take the case to the Administrative Court and use the NHRC report in court, he added.  

The NBTC’s five-member committee voted 4-1 to revoke the licence of the red-shirt affiliated station for broadcasting content forbidden by the National Council for Peace and Order that "could stir up unrest".

The content was broadcast in a “Mong Klai” (Look Beyond) programme hosted by Jatuporn Prompan, chief of the red-shirt movement, on April 18. Mr Jatuporn denied saying anything that day that could instigate conflict or cause divisions within society. 

The media watchdog previously suspended the station's licence for seven days from April 10 for the same reason. 



Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (2)