THAILAND: Community radio stations come under fire

New York, May 21, 2007—The Committee to Protect Journalists
condemns the harassment of three community radio stations in Thailand,
including Confidante Radio FM 87.75, Taxi Driver Community Radio FM 92.75, and the Internet-based Saturday Voice Against Dictatorship.

Officials from the prime minister’s public relations department (PRD)
entered Confidante’s offices in Nonthaburi province on Thursday and
confiscated taped recordings of an interview with the exiled former
prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, which the station had aired live the
previous day, according to local press reports. The interview was also
aired on the Bangkok-based Taxi Driver Community Radio and the Saturday
Voice Against Dictatorship.

During the interview, Thaksin called on the military junta that ousted
him from power last September to quickly hold new democratic elections,
which are now scheduled for mid-December. PRD officials have reportedly
opened an investigation against all three stations on possible charges
of “undermining national security” and “illegally operating,” according
to local press reports. The charges carry possible prison terms. As of
Monday, all three stations were still broadcasting.

“Harassment and intimidation of community radio stations is completely
out of step with the Thai government’s stated commitment to upholding
press freedom and restoring the country to democracy,” said Joel Simon,
CPJ’s executive director. “We call on Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont
and the ruling Council for National Security to immediately cease and
desist from intimidating and harassing journalists.”

Thailand’s military-led government has imposed harsh restrictions
on the country’s roughly 3,000 community radio stations. After seizing
power last year, the junta has required community radio stations to
broadcast military-prepared news three times daily. This month, CPJ
named Thailand one of the world’s worst backsliders on press freedom.

The ruling Council for National Security had also barred stations from
mentioning the ousted premier by name, although that particular
restriction had eased somewhat until last week, judging by an informal
CPJ survey of Bangkok-based radio stations.

© 2007 Committee to Protect Journalists.  E-mail:

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Thai Government Shuts Down Radio Stations


The International Federation
of Journalists (IFJ) is outraged at reports that three Thai radio
stations were shut down soon after airing an interview with former
prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

IFJ president Christopher Warren said the closures of Confidante, Taxi
Driver Community Radio and Saturday Voice Against Dictatorship appeared
to be blatant intimidation against media outlets who challenge the

“The current military-appointed government’s record of respecting press
freedom grows weaker and weaker every day, which also seriously
undermines its promises of an eventual democracy with free elections,”
Warren said.

According to local reports, Thaksin gave his first interview since the
September 2006 coup to Confidante from London, and it was also
broadcast on Taxi Driver Community Radio and Saturday Voice Against

Hours after the interview was aired, government officials showed up at
the Confidante offices, confiscated the recording of the interview, and
shut the station down.

“The people of Thailand need to have access to information on both
sides of the political divide in order to be able to make an informed
decision during the upcoming election,” Warren said.

Legal proceedings have since begun against Confidante and Taxi Driver
Community Radio, and the server for Saturday Voice Against Dictatorship
has been blocked. The station is only available via the internet.

This is at least the second time in six months that Saturday Voice has
been blocked by the government, and 3000 other stations have reportedly
been warned to heed the behaviour of these three broadcasters.

“These actions by the current Thai government show an utter disregard
for press freedom, and if the country is to have a democratic future,
they cannot continue on in this manner,” Warren said.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 115 countries



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  เปลี่ยนแปลง )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  เปลี่ยนแปลง )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  เปลี่ยนแปลง )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  เปลี่ยนแปลง )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: