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Thai Police order probe into media outlets over protest coverage

protest coverage

Thai police have ordered a probe into four media outlets over the anti-government protest coverage in Bangkok last week.

Deputy police spokesman, Pol Col  Kissana Phathanacharoen said police have asked the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and Ministry of Digital Economy and Society to take down the content by four media outlets and a protest group Facebook’s page, which violated the emergency decree. 

The four media outlets are Voice TV, Prachathai.com, The Reporter, THE STANDARD, and protest group – Free YOUTH.

“We received information from the intelligence units concerned that parts of the content and distorted information have been used and disseminated, causing confusion and unrest to society.

“NBTC and Ministry of Digital Economy and Society will examine and enforce the laws and comply with press freedom,” he said at a press conference, here, today.

Meanwhile, Minister of Digital Economy and Society, Puttipong Punnakanta said the ministry had requested for court orders to take down more than 300,000 pieces of content that violated the laws by the four media outlets and protest group Facebook’s page from Oct 14 to 18.

“The content has violated the emergency decree in Bangkok. The ministry will gradually report the case to the police starting today,” he said.

Last Thursday, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha declared a ‘Serious Emergency Situation in Bangkok’  to ban gatherings of five or more people, effective from 4am (local time) in a bid to end three months of student-led street protests.

It also prohibits the publication of news and other online messages that could affect national security and create fear or disseminate false information.

Meanwhile, National Police Chief, Jaruwat Waisaya said there was no order to shut any media outlet.

He said the committee on media information management was set up to examine all information and the content of various media platforms.

“The committee has the power to monitor and investigate the content providers. If (the content is) found to affect national security, legal action will be taken,” he added.

Meanwhile, Prayuth said he supported a proposal for a special parliamentary session be held to discuss the political situation in the kingdom and minimising conflicts. 

“It is not because we are responding to pressure (supporting special parliamentary session)… We hope the matter will be discussed via the parliamentary mechanism,” he said.

Prayuth denied the government would extend the emergency decree in Bangkok to other provinces in the kingdom.

“It is not necessary to impose a curfew in Bangkok,” he said.

BERNAMA 


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