Thailand suspends TV station over protests coverage

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
A Thai police chief speaks to pro-democracy protestors while they rally in Bangkok, Thailand.
A Thai police chief speaks to pro-democracy protestors while they rally in Bangkok, Thailand.
Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images
  • A Thai court on Tuesday ordered the suspension of an online TV station critical of the government.
  • Voice TV had also been found to have breached the Computer Crime Act by uploading "false information.
  • Thailand has drawn criticism from rights groups for banning demonstrations and the publication of news seen as damaging by the government.


A Thai court on Tuesday ordered the suspension of an online TV station critical of the government, which has accused it of violating emergency measures aimed at ending three months of protests.

Voice TV had also been found to have breached the Computer Crime Act by uploading "false information," digital ministry spokesperson Putchapong Nodthaisong told reporters.

Thailand has drawn criticism from rights groups for banning demonstrations and the publication of news seen as damaging by the government as it tries to end the protests against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and the powerful monarchy.

Rittikorn Mahakhachabhorn, Editor-in-Chief of Voice TV, said it would continue broadcasting until the court order arrived.

"We insist that we have been operating based on journalistic principles and we will continue our work presently," he said.

Thailand said on Monday that three other media organisations are under investigation.

Voice TV is owned in part by the Shinawatra family of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister Yingluck, who was overthrown by Prayuth in a 2014 coup. Both fled Thailand to escape corruption cases they branded political.

Street protests since mid-July are the biggest challenge in decades to the monarchy under King Maha Vajiralongkorn and to Prayuth, who rejects accusations of engineering an election last year to keep power.

The demonstrations have been largely led by youths and students in contrast with a decade of street violence between supporters of Thaksin and conservative royalists before Prayuth seized power.

Protests have only gained momentum since the government announced a ban last Thursday and arrested dozens of protesters, including many of the main leaders.

A lawyer for two of them, Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak and Panusaya "Rung" Sithijirawattanakul, said they would be arrested again on Tuesday as soon as they had been freed on bail granted by a court over earlier charges related to the protests.

Prime Minister Prayuth has said he will not quit in the face of the protests.

His cabinet agreed on Tuesday to hold an emergency session of parliament next week about the crisis. Prayuth's supporters hold a majority in the parliament, whose upper house was named entirely by his former junta. 

Do you want to know more about this topic? Sign up for one of News24's 33 newsletters to receive the information you want in your inbox. Special newsletters are available to subscribers.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When assisting your child with remote learning this year, did you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Follow the school's comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) curriculum?
14% - 404 votes
Adjust the CSE curriculum to suit the family's morals?
24% - 699 votes
Ignore the schools CSE programme and do your own teaching?
63% - 1851 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.17
(-0.05)
ZAR/GBP
20.39
(+0.05)
ZAR/EUR
18.42
(-0.03)
ZAR/AUD
11.28
(-0.03)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(+0.20)
Gold
1836.77
(-0.17)
Silver
24.14
(+0.54)
Platinum
1061.00
(+3.72)
Brent Crude
48.78
(+0.95)
Palladium
2343.00
(+1.99)
All Share
59419.37
(+0.80)
Top 40
54500.04
(+0.61)
Financial 15
11646.83
(+2.17)
Industrial 25
79758.36
(+0.10)
Resource 10
57015.33
(+0.70)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo