Military officers directly ordered a newspaper not to publish a story on an anti-coup group, according to a Vice-President of the Thai Journalist Association (TJA).
On Tuesday 24 June, military officers reportedly visited the newsroom of a newspaper and instructed the editorial staff not to report the establishment of Free Thais for Human Rights and Democracy (FTHD), an anti-coup group in exile.
Manop Thip-osod, TJA Vice-President for press freedom, on Thursday confirmed the military intervention in the newsroom, and said the association is concerned about this intervention in editorial decisions and that it has discussed the issue with the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), the junta’s temporary administrative body.
The NCPO expressed concerns, he said, adding that it might be a misunderstanding among NCPO officials because the junta has no policy to intimidate the media.
The TJA will send a representative to talk with the NCPO on Friday to “clarify” freedom, as a response to the establishment of the media-monitoring and censorship bodies.
On Wednesday, the Thai authorities revealed that working bodies have been set up to monitor all kinds of media, including foreign media. The body will also be responsible for censoring media reports which “cause hatred toward the monarchy” and contain “false information”.
On Thursday afternoon, Col. Winthai Suvaree, the NCPO spokesman, said he did not have any knowledge of the intervention and will investigate the issue, adding that the military has no policy to intervene and intimidate the media.