CPJ condemns community radio raids

13 07 2011

The Committee to Protect Journalists has issued a statement that “condemns the raid and seizure of broadcasting equipment by police at six community radio stations in Thailand’s northeastern Nakhon Ratchasima province. The raids were staged two days after caretaker Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s government lost to the opposition Peua Thai party in general elections held on July 3.”

Two of the six stations are royalist People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) broadcasters and the others are red shirt-affiliated stations.

Remarkably, a PAD activist Supot Piriyagiatdisakul, seemingly blinded by rage, reckoned that the “raid was politically motivated and organized by officials wanting to please the new incoming Peua Thai-led government.” Yes, that is why they closed four red shirt stations. And, did Supot even stop to consider that there is no Puea Thai government, and won’t be for some time to come. It is the Democrat Party that remains in a caretaker role.

Sounding more rational, Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative is reported: “CPJ calls on Thailand’s incoming government to improve on the outgoing administration’s poor record of press freedom and to refrain from taking revenge against opposition media.” There’s been no hint of any “revenge” against any media, so Crispin is guessing.




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