Thai Journalists’ Association’s double standards

24 01 2013

We trust readers recall that a weeks or so ago the Thai Journalists’ Association was bleating about freedom of expression. It was chastising the Army for its intimidation of journalists at ASTV/Manager, which is one of the TJA’s favored outlets. We suggested then that the bleating was justified.

But when it comes to lese majeste and freedom of expression, the TJA has less backbone than a jellyfish. Look at its comment on lese majeste from president Chavarong Limpattamapanee:

The TJA executive meets on lese majeste

The TJA executive meets on lese majeste

… the court’s ruling in Somyos’s case should not be linked with the issue of freedom of expression.

He said the Constitution ensures Thai people’s freedom of expression, but not without limit or exception.

“Freedom of expression does not mean the freedom to accuse or criticise anybody. And according to Thai law, the monarchy is an institution above politics. Whether the … penalties are too harsh or whether the legal processes are suitable is another issue,” he said.

Of course, these reactionary comments are in line with the usual position taken on censorship by this royalist enclave. For example, when there was discussion of censoring Twitter, mainly to screen out thousands of anti-monarchy tweets, the TJA was cheering loudest. Earlier, during the dark days of the censorial and royalist Abhisit Vejjajiva regime, the TJA promoted ideas about politicized censorship.

As PPT said some time ago, that any journalists’ association should support censorship is jaw dropping. That it is predictable that the royalist TJA should support censorship is reflective of the failure of the TJA over several years. The TJA is a disgrace.


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31 01 2013
Somyos, amnesty and lese majeste « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Thai journalists continue to be worse than hopeless, the International Federation of Journalists has […]

31 01 2013
Somyos, amnesty and lese majeste « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Thai journalists continue to be worse than hopeless, the International Federation of Journalists has […]

4 02 2013
Debating lese majeste and responses to it « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] He mentions the strong international reaction, including one by the U.S. State Department that PPT hadn’t previously seen. Also mentioned is the spineless response by those in Thailand who should be concerned, including the  such as the National Human Rights Commission and the Thai Journalists’ Association. […]

4 02 2013
Debating lese majeste and responses to it « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] He mentions the strong international reaction, including one by the U.S. State Department that PPT hadn’t previously seen. Also mentioned is the spineless response by those in Thailand who should be concerned, including the  such as the National Human Rights Commission and the Thai Journalists’ Association. […]

25 11 2013
On Suthep, monarchy and violence | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] There have been intimidatory challenges to the media and attacks on journalists. Remarkably, the Thai Broadcast Journalists Association and the Thai Journalists’ Association could only manage a mild statement on such intimidation, while essentially justifying the actions of protesters. Such bias is expected from the ultra-royalist organizations, mirroring their previous bias. […]

25 11 2013
On Suthep, monarchy and violence | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] There have been intimidatory challenges to the media and attacks on journalists. Remarkably, the Thai Broadcast Journalists Association and the Thai Journalists’ Association could only manage a mild statement on such intimidation, while essentially justifying the actions of protesters. Such bias is expected from the ultra-royalist organizations, mirroring their previous bias. […]




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