Media freedom in Thailand came under fire after the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) imposed a 15-day ban on Voice TV last 12 February 2019.
NBTC claimed that Voice TV had aired content that it deemed “causing confusion and inciting conflict or divisions in the kingdom” (see Khaosod English report) but this was denied by Voice TV saying it had consistently complied with the NBTC Orders. Following the issuance of the NBTC sanction, Voice TV went off-air for two days, until the Central Administrative Court of Thailand issued an injunction on the broadcast suspension order in response to the complaint filed by the private digital television network.
Media organizations in Thailand and in and beyond the region (see statements from the Southeast Asian Press Alliance, SEAPA and Pakistan Press Foundation) expressed grave concern over this unwarranted interference from the government, highlighting the Thai media’s crucial role in the upcoming general election and its duty to inform the public even beyond the highly awaited vote in Thailand, which is scheduled take place this month.
On 28 February 2018, the Thai court ruled in favor of Voice TV. It found the suspension “unlawful.”
In this video, SEAPA chronicles the various instances, spanning five years, the Voice TV has been forced to go off air by order of the NBTC.