Watch yourself, Thai PM warns journalist on World Press Freedom Day
Members of the Thai journalists Association visited Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha in Bangkok on Tuesday, wearing black shirts as an act of defiance against the military junta’s policies in hampering press freedom in the country.
According to news sites Khaosod English and Asian Correspondent, Prayuth responded to calls from Thai media to ‘ease’ restrictions on them. “I will review it. Because if I cancel this one, I can also add another one,” he expounded.
“Isn’t the freedom we have right now enough?” Prayuth addressed the media practitioners.
When the junta leader pivoted to walk away from the journalists,Yuwadee Thanyasiri, a senior reporter for more than 30 years, uttered a quote in Thai, “Freedom of the press is freedom of the people.” It struck Prayuth’s ears and he immediately asked who yelled the powerful sentence in a broadcast by local channel Matichon TV.
After Yuwadee stated her name, Prayuth pointed a finger at her and warned the senior journalist: “Watch yourself.”
The association attempted to submit a press statement to the Prime Minister regarding World Press Freedom Day but was blocked by his officials.
According to a report by Paris-based NGO Reporters Without Borders, out of 180 countries, Thailand tumbled from 134th place in 2015 to 136th in 2016 when it comes to safeguarding journalists and respecting national press. Gianna Francesca Catolico
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