Thai police arrest CNN reporters accused of violating massacre crime scene, visas revoked | Inquirer News

Thai police arrest CNN reporters accused of violating massacre crime scene, visas revoked

/ 05:08 PM October 10, 2022
Thailand massacre

People pray for the victims of the nursery mass shooting at Wat Rat Samakee temple in northeastern Nong Bua Lam Phu province on October 10, 2022, as relatives hold funeral rites for those killed in the massacre. AFP

BANGKOK — Two members of a CNN media crew have been arrested in Udon Thani for allegedly encroaching at the crime scene of the Nong Bua Lamphu nursery massacre on Sunday.

Australian reporter Anna Coren, 47, who reported from inside the nursery, and her British cameraman Daniel Hodge, 34, have been escorted to Na Klang Police Station, which has jurisdiction over the crime scene.

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The arrests came after Uthai Sawan Subdistrict Administrative Organisation president Danaichoke Boonsom filed charges against CNN at Na Klang Police Station.

Danaichoke said the CNN broadcast had taken a serious toll on locals, especially the victims’ relatives.

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The CNN crew broadcast graphic images from inside the nursery, prompting public anger and accusations from Thai media that it had violated journalistic ethics.

Danaichoke added that media outlets were barred from serious crime scenes unless permitted to enter. CNN claimed its crew received permission from Thai officials to enter the crime scene, though Thai media outlets deny any permission was granted.

The Immigration Bureau has also revoked the tourist visas of Coren and Hodge, explaining that reporting without a media visa is a criminal offense.

Immigration Bureau deputy commissioner Achayon Kraithong said they were not eligible to work in the country, the Bangkok Post reported.

He said their encroachment on the crime scene may have tampered with evidence and disrupted the work of investigators, and that they could face other charges.

The pair arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport on Thursday and were permitted to stay until Nov 19. They have not left the country, the officer added.

Thai police on Sunday circulated a video of the CNN crew apologizing for filming inside the nursery.

CNN is accused of encroaching at the scene in Uthai Sawan subdistrict, where a 34-year-old ex-policeman launched a gun and knife attack that left 36 dead, including 24 young children.

The CNN broadcast went viral online amid controversy over how the outlet gained access to the scene to broadcast graphic images including bloodstains and the young victims’ belongings.

The outlet defended its crew in a Twitter message on Saturday, claiming they had received permission from Thai public health officials to enter the crime scene.

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TAGS: CNN, Journalism, mass shooting, Media, Thailand
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