Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

[Thailand] Suspending Voice TV: ‘An attack on media freedom’ —Pakistan Press Foundation

February 13, 2019

Prayut Chan-o-cha
Prime Minister of Thailand

Excellency,

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), an independent non-governmental organization committed to promoting and defending freedom of expression is writing to bring your attention towards the order of National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) over suspending broadcast of Voice TV.

According to Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA), the regulator has used its power and order forceful suspension of Voice TV broadcast to go off air for 15 days from February 13, 2019.

NBTC stated that the station aired several news items which lead to the risk of inciting conflict and divisions in the kingdom.

The suspension order caused after submission of complaints over broadcasts of two news talk shows Tonight Thailand (16 December 2018) and Wake Up News (21, 28, 29 January and 4 February 2019).

Makin Petplai, the Chief Executive Officer of Voice TV stated that “the station will take legal action to set the standard of NBTC’s power back in line with rule of law and press freedom, which has been questioned and challenged since the 2014 coup.”

He added, “Voice TV will appeal to the Constitutional Court as soon as possible.”

Last year, the regulator also suspended the programs The Daily Dose and Wake Up News for three days and Tonight Thailand for 15 days. Also the station had to suspend the commentators of Wake Up News and their cartoonist for a month.

Voice TV is a digital television channel owned by political actors including the Shinawatra family of ejected Prime Minister Thaksin.

PPF condemns this step of NBTC and termed it an attack on media freedom. PPF also urge the authorities and media regulator to lift the order of suspending broadcasts of Voice TV.

I thank you for your attention and will welcome your comments.

Yours Sincerely,

Owais Aslam Ali
Secretary General
Pakistan Press Foundation
Press Centre
Shahrah Kamal Ataturk
Karachi
Pakistan
Tel: +92 21 3263-3215
Fax: +92 21 3221-7069
Email: owaisali@pakistanpressfoundation.org
Web: www.pakistanpressfoundation.org

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