Updated: Draft charter institutionalizes censorship

13 01 2016

Media censorship in Thailand under the military dictatorship is ubiquitous. Threats, cajoling, self-censorship and political alignment do the trick in most of the mainstream media.

The military brass and the royalist elite fear a freer press. They hate social media that they can’t control and direct.

To placate them going forward it seems the junta’s Constitution Drafting Committee plans to institutionalize censorship of the media in its draft constitution.Censorship

As the Bangkok Post reports it, the “CDC now plans to give the state the ability to block news during political crises and other ‘unusual situations’, such as during the mass street protests that lead to 2014’s military coup.”

The CDC “agreed that the government should have such censorship powers following the imposition of an emergency decree or under martial law.” The CDC wants the media to be “cooperative” during such “unusual situations.”

Such institutionalizing of censorship adds to the already draconian capacity in law, including the computer crimes and lese majeste laws. Goodbye all thought of media freedom in Thailand.

Update: According to the Bangkok Post, quite remarkably, the CDC has quickly announced the dropping of it censorship plan. Apparently the drafting dolts have “decided that the executive or emergency decrees issued during such times generally have included provisions allowing for government media censorship. The military also has the same power under martial law…”. At the same time, there was a very strong negative reaction to this rightist plan. We are not sure we believe anything from these diddlers.


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