Hostile climate for journalists in Thailand

Hostile climate for journalists in Thailand 31 January 2013

Car attackOn 26 January 2013, four cars belonging to the television station ASTV were fired on by unidentified people. Reporters without borders stated, “Spraying a news organisation’s vehicles with bullets is a serious act…the attack is a reflection of the current hostile climate for journalists and those who work in news and information in the country. The investigation being carried out by the authorities must be concluded quickly so that those behind the crime are held to account for their actions.” The attack took place at t he head office of ASTV at the Baan Chao Phraya building, on Phra Athit Road in Bangkok. The damage was not spotted until the following morning when ASTV journalists arrived at the premises. Four cars were riddled with bullets, believed to be from a .22 calibre gun.

The ASTV group is close to the People’s Alliance for Democracy, which opposes the current government and is popularly known as the “yellow shirts”. A few days ago soldiers held a demonstration outside the group’s headquarters in protest at its criticism of the head of the armed forces, General Prayuth Chan-ocha. Gen. Prayuth denied that any soldiers were involved in the attack on ASTV.

Source: Reporters without borders