Academics join the fray

Source: Bangkok Post

Three hundred and eighty-four academics opened another battlefront against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday to win back the right to freedom of speech.

The academics, from 22 state and private universities, signed an open letter demanding the prime minister’s explanation for alleged intimidation of the press and infringement of civil liberties.

They also demanded Mr Thaksin promise before the public he would protect and promote freedom of speech and freedom of expression which are guaranteed under articles 39-42 of the constitution.

These academics became allies of 1,195 journalists who earlier sought parliament’s inquiries into a string of actions seen as government attempts to gag the press, including the assets checks on 35 journalists and a ban on Nation Group’s radio programmes.