#WPFD2017 Free expression and media freedom: Back to zero

Significant incidents in 2016 and 2017 have further restricted press freedom and free expression in Thailand, which is still under the rule of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) — the military coup makers who have seized administrative power since May 2014 and installed a provisional government. The coup leader Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha announced a national road map, which promises to return the administrative power to a civilian rule within 20 months supposedly holding the elections in 2016 but have been postponed many times.

 

The military junta held a referendum on the new constitution in August 2016. But during the period, criticism against the draft charter was strictly prohibited. At least 212 people were charged and arrested from running activities and express opinions on the draft charter.1 With the oppressive environment, the constitution had received a majority vote at the score of 61 percent. It took six more months afterwards to clean the draft including some changes based on voters’ response to the referendum’s additional questions: on the power of senate to appoint the prime minister, some changes in the sections regarding the monarch and the heir, and the status quo of the NCPO orders. The military-sponsored constitution was eventually promulgated on 6 April 2017, 34 months after the coup. The next elections is expected to be held in late 2018.

 

The most significant incident in Thailand during this period was the passing of the country’s beloved monarch King Bhumibol Adulyadej on 13 October 2016. The government issued several orders and regulations asking cooperation from all broadcast media to refrain from airing normal programs for 30 days or broadcast and publish in black and white to keep with the somber mood of the national mourning. All media were instructed to exercise great caution and sensitivity in reporting about the royal mourning activities and the royal succession. All citizens were suggested to display subdued colors during the period. There was a brief irrational display of anger by some royalists, who drummed up online hate campaign bullying those that did not wear black clothes or criticised the monarchy. Some incidents involved physical harassment against those who failed to wear black or act accordingly with the Thai justice minister expressing his view toward the attacks that “there is no better way to punish these people than to socially sanction them.”2

 

Several new government mechanisms were either set up or in the process of establishment to tighten state control over the media at this time and in preparation for the future. A new Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) came to replace the old Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) in September 2016. The law on Digital Development for Economy and Society was promulgated in January 2017 leading to a setting up of a supra national body, the Commission for Digital Economy and Society (CDES) headed by the Prime Minister to also take over the sovereignty of the current independent broadcast regulator, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). To complete the reinstatement of state control over the broadcast sector, the amendment on the Act on the Organisation to Assign Radio frequency and to Regulate the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Services has been promulgated in March 2017. In addition, the junta government plans to propose a new law requiring all media workers to have professional license and subjected to control by a state-sanctioned National Media Council. (See Laws, Policies, and Court Cases).

 

Legal instruments have become a main mechanism to suppress the media. Apart from the National Legislative assembly (NLA) – which acts as a parliament of the junta, the coup have set up many extra-committees to formulate laws and orders such as the National Reform Steering Committee (NRSA) – which acts as the state’s counselor and the Committee on Reform, National Strategy, and Reconciliation or Por Yor Por – which is authorized to formulate a plan for the nation’s reform.3

 

Laws, policies, and court cases

The military regime governs Thailand under Section 44 of the interim constitution, which gives absolute power to the head of the NCPO to issue orders necessary to move the reform process forward. Since the coup, the coup leader has increasingly used this power issuing only one order in 2014 to 41 and 78 in 2015 and 2016 respectively. As of April 2017, there have been 22 orders.

 

Many NCPO orders have affected the people’s right to freedom of expression. For example, the NCPO order no.13/2016 allows “Prevention and Suppression Officers” to detain any person to prevent and suppress crimes against public peace, liberty and reputation, immigration, and etc. The authority can search, confiscate, seize those acting against and are granted immunity from prosecution while enacting this order. The NCPO order no.41/2016 empowers the NBTC to shutdown television or radio stations for any program deemed as defying the related law. The NCPO order no.76/2016 extends the government ownership of radio frequency channels to five years more, from the original deadline of April 2017.

 

Though Thailand’s constitution has passed the referendum and was promulgated in 2017, all NCPO orders are still in effect.

 

Apart from issuing fast-track laws in the form of NCPO orders, the NLA is currently active in writing new laws regarding freedom of expression. Between 2016 to 2017: the NLA passed the Public Referendum Act, the amendment of Computer-related Crime Act (CCA), and the amendment of the Act on Organisation to Assign Radio Frequency and to Regulate the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Services (NBTC).

 

Section 61 paragraph 2 of the Public Referendum Act imposed a prison term up to 10 years and/or a fine up to 200,000 Thai baht (USD 5,800), and/or loss of electoral rights for anyone who publishes or distributes content in media or any other forms on the draft constitution which deviates from the truth or is of an abusive, aggressive, obscene, seditious, or coercive nature intended to influence voters to vote one way or another, or to abstain from voting.

 

Under this law, 212 people were charged and arrested including an online news outlet Prachatai reporter – who covered an activity of a political group informing its supporters about the charter referendum and draft charter.

 

In January 2017, the amendment of the CCA has been promulgated. Section 14 (1) of the previous CCA is the most frequently used to suppress criticism. The provision was criticised for its wrongful use to prosecute online defamation. Under the height of a public protest against the draft, the amendment has added a sentence that Section 14 (1) must not be used for a defamation accusation.

 

Section 14. Any person who commits the following offenses shall be subject to imprisonment up to five years and a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand baht (USD 2,900), or both:

(1) with ill or fraudulent intent, put into a computer system distorted or forged computer data, partially or entirely, or false computer data, in a manner that is likely to cause damage to the public; which is not a defamation accusation under the Criminal Code

 

However, the problematic terms of “false computer data” in the previous law is being retained, and now the amended provision is harsher by adding the term “distorted computer data.” The law also states that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have to announce the “Notice and Take down” procedure providing a platform for people to be able to report inappropriate content – which ISPs have to suspend or take down within a deadline – or facing a criminal penalty at the same level as the person, who posts the content. The new CCA states that the MDES will set up a Computer Data Screening Committee, which might be able to have a special technical measurement to suspend content on ISPs’ system. The detail of notice and take down and the blocking website procedure will be stated in the draft ministerial announcement to be announced in mid-2017.4

 

In March 2017, the NLA passed the amendment of the Act on Organisation to Assign Radio Frequency and to Regulate the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Services (NBTC act). The amendment follows the revised principle stated in the constitution, which states that there shall be an “independent regulatory body” to distribute the frequencies. While the 2017 Constitution states that the state has duties to protect frequencies and the right to use satellite orbits for the sake of the nation and the people, the state has to provide a “state’s organisation” that can work independently to regulate frequencies.

 

Then, the NBTC act has changed its status from an independent regulatory body to a government agency under the CDES. The amendment has also revised the qualifications of the NBTC commissioner from previously basing on their expertise to now requiring them to be either a government servant or a state enterprise officer – which have worked as supervisor of an organisation – or hold a military or police rank at least colonel, or at least an associate professor, or be a former board member of a public company that generated a total revenue of at least 500 million baht (USD 14.4 million) per year, or have worked in the consumer protection field for at least ten years. The selection committee are mostly from the judges.

 

Apart from the laws that the NLA have passed, the NRSA is considering several bills. One of them is the Protection of Media Rights and Freedom, Ethics and Professional Standards. The idea of the bill is to control all media workers through registration. The bill would establish an umbrella National Professional Media Council authorized with massive mandate to regulate and penalize existing news media and overrule existing media self-regulation mechanisms such as the Press Council of Thailand. The Council, of which at least two members would be state representatives, would have the authority to issue and withdraw a media outlet’s license and a media worker’s press identification card. It is tasked to set out an ethical standard for all the media and its workers and monitor compliance.5

 

Recently, the NRSA has also proposed an idea setting a special department to screen the use of social media to prevent fake news and the content that are against the national security. The proposed body would be part of the five-year-plan media reform proposed by Por Yor Por.

 

All new laws and orders are on top of the draconian lèse majesté law, known as Section 112 of the Criminal Code, which states that anyone who “defames, insults or threatens the king, the queen, the heir-apparent or the regent” will be punished with up to 15 years in prison.

 

Notable media freedom and freedom of expression cases during 2016 to 2017:

1. It is clear that the “false information” accusation in the CCA is being used to suppress media and critics.

The provision in Section 14 states that anyone, who posts or forges false computer data or distorted information, could be sentenced up to five years imprisonment. This provision has led to accusations against activist and critics. For example:

  • In March 2017, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra filed a defamation and computer-related crime cases against Thai Post newspaper columnist Pleoi Si-ngern for his column writing that the ex-prime minister had intentionally evaded taxes on the Shin Corp share deal. He also filed the case against TNews agency for accusing him to be a part of the armed red shirt leader Wuthipong “Kotee” Kochathamakun group and Charupong Ruangsuwan.6
  • In March 2017, secretary-general of the People’s Anti-Corruption Network Veera Somkwamkid was charged under CCA for releasing an online survey on Facebook saying that people lack confidence in the government and the Prime Minister. The technology Crime Suppression Division reasoned that he spread false information, which caused public damage.7
  • In March 2017, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) filed 15 complaints under defamation law and CCA against people, who posted on social media accusing them of spreading “false information” by saying that the power plant leads to sickness and death.8
  • In December 2016, student activist from Khonkaen University Jatupat Boonpattarasa – known as Pai Daodin – was arrested under lèse majesté and CCA for sharing a BBC Thai biography of the new King on Facebook. The report has been shared by more than 2,600 people.9 Jatupat is the only person that was accused after he was closely monitored by the authorities from his active movement against the junta.
  • In November 2016, BBC World correspondent Jonathan Head is accused after he wrote an investigative report that dealt with fraud and property scam perpetrated against a retired foreign person. A lawyer, whose name was mentioned in the report, filed a defamation and computer-related crime charges against Head alleging that the report was incorrect.10
  • In September 2016, British labor rights activist Andy Hall was found guilty of defamation and computer-related crime for disseminating a research on human rights abuse and the poor working conditions of migrant workers employed by Natural Fruit Co.Ltd. Bangkok’s Southern Criminal Court sentenced him to three years suspended jail term and 150,000 baht (USD 4,300) fine. The court said that Andy Hall failed to bring the 12 migrant workers, who were abused by the company, to testify in the court as witnesses and prove that the sound record is evidence that the information in his research is the truth.11 The company filed three cases against him. In another incident, the Supreme Court dismissed the case on an interview Andy Hall gave to Al-Jazeera. However, the court did not cite freedom of expression for its decision stating only that it had no jurisdiction over the case because the interview was conducted in Myanmar.12

2. The authorities is trying to monitor people’s private chats and other social media activities.

The cases of anti-junta activist Burin Intin and mother of a student activist Patnaree Chankij were puzzling. Burin Intin was sentenced to 11 years and four months in prison for committing lèse majesté in two counts by making comments on a Facebook video clip and sending private chats in Facebook messenger.13 Burin was previously arrested for joining in the “Stand Still” anti-coup activity in April 2016. At that time, Army officers asked for his Facebook password. Although he resisted giving his password to authorities, police officer later used conversations from messenger chat logs as evidence to charge him and Patnaree, who chatted with him and just replied with the word “ja (yes)”. Both were accused of violating the lèse majesté law because of this conversation. Burin pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years and eight months for this count. Patnaree is defending her case. The authorities has claimed that saying “ja” meant Patnaree accepted or agreed with the message.14

The authorities have intimidated Thailand internet users – who have contacted and have online activities with Somsak Jeamteerasakul, a historian academic who is now living in exile in Paris. In October 2016, there were at least six people that Thai authorities summoned and visited for attitude adjustment informing them that following the academic is an improper action and might be linked to lèse majesté accusations.15 Then in April 2016, the MDES issued a document asking internet users to “refrain from following, contacting, spreading or engaging in any activity that results in spreading content and information” of three persons including Somsak.16

3. Encouraging standard rulings established in the justice system

During this period, many court cases were dismissed on good grounds.

In November 2016 – 12 months after the case has started, the Criminal Court acquitted the Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS) in a lawsuit citing the defamation law and the computer-related crime law by gold mining company Tungkum. The firm accused the station of damaging its reputation by reporting on the environment impact of the mining operation. Judges reasoned that the Thai PBS reported comments based on good faith and said that the media have a duty to report such comments, which are protected under the law.17

In a similar case, the Southern Criminal Court dismissed the defamation and computer-related crime charges against environmental activist Somlak Hutanuwatr for a Facebook post referring to a mining operation that might cause damages to the local environment and the health of the local community. The court said that the information was based on a finding by a committee, which assessed the impact of the mining. Akara Resources Public Company filed three lawsuits against the activist. The courts have dismissed one case, did not accept the other, and the last would be held in the trial next year.18

Although these cases support freedom of expression, they do not apply to all media and activists, which and who have been intimidated by the legal process for years. All trials place the burden of costs and time on the media and critics. Police and public prosecutors tend to accept cases, however clear that the media and/or critic in question made the comments in good faith.

When the cases are related to the monarchy and national security, the consideration process is more suspicious. Narissarawan Keawnopparat, whose uncle died during a military training in a Narathiwat military camp, has been charged for violating the defamation law and computer-related crime law posting messages and photos. Capt. Phuri Perksophon filed the case against her alleging that those online content damaged his reputation. Narissarawan was summoned and arrested in 2016. The public prosecution of Narathiwat decided not to accept the case. But under NCPO order no. 115/2014, the case must be sent for review by the Commander of the Southern Border Provinces Police Operation Center – who ordered the charge against her.19

Another high profile case in February 2017, the Supreme Court has sentenced editor of political magazine Voice of Taksin Somyot Prueksakasemsuk for seven years in jail on a lèse majesté charge.20 The same as others in which the articles or the messages were considered insulting the monarchy, the court mostly denied to analyse the details of how the case was insulting. In several cases, the courts even hold closed-door trials.

 

Self-regulation and ethics

Thailand has many professional media organisations: the National Press Council of Thailand, Thai Journalists Association (TJA), and Thai Broadcast Journalists Association (TBJA).

 

Because of its nature, broadcast media have to be governed under the NBTC – which allocates frequencies for radio and television media. But by principle, Section 39 of the Broadcasting and Television Businesses Act B.E. 2551 (2008) states that the formerly independent media regulator NBTC shall proceed to promote a formation of licensees, program producers, and mass media professionals to set the ethical standards for professional media and self-regulation. Both independent regulator and the media’s self-regulation mechanism should work together under a “co-regulation” scheme.21

 

But after nine years, the co-regulation scheme has failed. NBTC has mostly controlled and punished the media without any space for professional media organisations to consider their issues.

 

Moreover, the new amendment of NBTC Act has shown that even the regulatory body itself lacks independence and autonomy. The future of self-regulation in the broadcast media seems bleak.

Among all professional media organisations, it is only the printed media’s effort – which can be considered self-regulation. For example, the National Press Council has a complaint system. But the problem with the Thai media is that media outlets are reluctant to be members of any group. The professional media organisations themselves are being questioned on effectiveness and bias over their jurisdiction of the Thai media.

 

One progress among the Thai media is that the National Press Council has encouraged newspaper outlets to establish an internal ombudsman so individual media can exercise self-regulation within the organisation. Starting in 2016, at least five national and local newspapers now have an ombudsman: Thairath, Daily News, Manager, Paktai Focus, and Korat Daily.22

 

Interference and censorship

After the demise of King Bhumibol, all mainstream media’s normal programs were suspended for 30 days. All broadcast channels had to link their transmission signal solely to the Television Pool of Thailand (TV Pool). Moreover, NBTC imposed a number of guidelines and regulations related to the handling of information on current events ordering media outlets to obtain prior approval on information related to the King’s demise and to “refrain from interpretation, analysis, and criticism” beyond the press release of the government and the Bureau of the Royal Household.

 

The impact of the strict guidelines was immediate. Several reports about the delay in royal succession and the role of a temporary regent were published quoting the Vice President of the National Legislative Assembly of Thailand (NLA). Only for some media outlets to take them down after a few hours of posting.23 The authorities also ordered cable service providers to monitor foreign news channels and abruptly “cut off the air” when news were about Thailand. It also issued guidelines for all licensed media with internet channels and all ISPs to monitor content 24 hours.24

 

To tighten its surveillance regime, the MDES announced the recruitment of 100 staff for a “war room” Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC) based in the state-owned telecommunications company, Telephone Organisation of Thailand (TOT). Their main role is to monitor online content. Since then, it claimed to have suspended more than 600 websites while the foreign news agency Associated Press (AP) reported that Thai authorities have suspended 1,370 websites in October 2016.25 In its report on the five-month operation to safeguard and glorify monarchy institutions since 12 September 2016 to 28 February 2017. MDES intercepted websites alleged to violate lèse majesté law and the court has already suspended 8,192 Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).26

 

Authorities quickly reacted to intercept the BBC Thai-language service’s post on the profile of Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, who accepted the throne and became Thailand’s King on 1 December 2016. The piece was widely shared on social media while some Thais said that the content deems insulting the King. The biography of the King on the BBC Thai’s website has been blocked in Thailand. The police visited BBC’s Bangkok office, but the office was closed on that day.27

 

Because of this piece, Thai authorities arrested an anti-coup student activist Jatupat Boonpataraksa, known as “Pai” for sharing a link to the BBC profile.28 He is now under pre-trial detention since December 2016.

 

Apart from striking down any negative report – which has already created a long-term media self-censorship practice – regarding the King, criticising the junta and the military could also lead the media and activists into troubles.

 

During the referendum campaign on 12 July 2016, five plain clothes police officers raided the Prachatai office to search the evidence of campaign materials related to the charter referendum. This operation followed the arrest of a reporter, who was charged of violating the Public Referendum Act, because he was sitting with pro-democrat activists in the same car – where the campaign materials on the anti-charter were found.29

 

It’s not only Prachatai; 2016 to 2017 were a hard year for pro-democracy media. The Shinawatra family’s VOICE TV has been closely watched by the Royal Thai Army’s Media Monitoring Committee, which submitted complaints to NBTC for “not airing all sides of facts” in their news analysis programs.30 VOICE TV was called and penalized 10 times in 2016 and thrice in 2017. Some of its TV hosts and programs were suspended temporarily, but the harshest order against them was in 2017 when the NBTC ordered to suspend VOICE TV’s license affecting the whole station for seven days.31

 

The NBTC arbitrarily suspended Spring Radio FM 98.5 MHz for five days in April 2017 citing its broadcast of “inappropriate” content, which concerned the national security. Spring Radio received the rough order through a telephone call. The station has yet to know the details about their suspension, which was made prior to an investigation and already construed a punishment.32

 

In another instance, foreign news outlets and neighborhood media sites as The Phnom Penh Post are being monitored for publishing political content about Thailand. In October 2016, the news titled “Cambodia mulls Thai Junta’s request for three extraditions” was blocked in Thailand33. The article published details on the Cambodian foreign ministry about processing the request of the Thai junta to extradite three Thai citizens, who were accused of insulting the monarchy.

 

Apart from the normal requests of the Thai government asking ISPs to block access to websites within the country, the orders become harsher for social media content as Facebook posts. Online news site Mashable published information from Facebook on blocking some posts that the government has asked for. Before removing the flagged posts, they go through a legal process. Facebook blocked 10 items in Thailand.34

 

Ownership

Statistics from Nielsen, a media research company, shows that revenue from advertisement for online media is growing at 63.42 percent in 2016, while those of analogue TV, digital TV, satellite-Cable TV, newspaper, magazine, and radio were decreasing. Particularly the newspaper and magazine revenues, which were decreasing at -20.11 percent and -30.84 percent respectively.35

 

Because of the massive revenue decline, many media outlets shut down in 2016: magazines such as Candy, Volumn, Image, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Sakul Thai, Who, I Like, Phabphayont Banteung, Ploy Kaem Petch; newspapers such as the Banmuang Newspaper; TV stations such as Cable Thai Holding and T-News.

 

The Thai TV company decided to withdraw its TV digital licenses for Thai TV channel and MVTV Family channel because of the deficit in running Digital TV stations. But the company were still required to pay the license fee prompting a court dispute.

 

In 2016, many big corporations bought majority of stocks from media companies. The Thai Beverage Public Co.,Ltd, a liquor tycoon, invested 850 million baht (USD 25 million) to boost its printed and digital TV business becoming the major shareholder of the Amarin Printing and Publishing with 47.6 percent share.36 The Prasarttong-Osoth Family, billionaire from the medical and hospital businesses, owner of the Bangkok Media and Broadcasting (BMB) and operator of the PPTV digital TV channel also invested 1,905 million baht (USD 55 million) for 50 percent share of entertainment digital TV channel ONE from GMM Grammy.37

 

Facebook as media content provider

Facebook became an important tool for all media, especially allowing individuals and small media to play in the same field with the big corporations. While many traditional media closed down in 2016, several new online alternative media has just started such as The Matter and The Momentum — big printing houses with teenagers as their target audience backed both.

 

Another phenomenon, the most popular news anchor Sorayuth Suthassanachinda – who because of pressure from media organizations ended his duty as a TV host in March 2016 following a cheating scandal that involved advertising revenue – returned to comment on social issues in January 2017 through his Facebook page using the live broadcast function. The highest views on his live video is 1.3 million views.

 

The rise of popularity of social media goes in tandem with the behavior of mobile media consumers, who tend to read news through smart phones and particularly from Facebook feed. Facebook becomes both a good partner and a big enemy of the media. While social media help extend media platforms to reach more audiences, traditional media outlets face difficulty in gaining traffic for their websites. The Facebook system centralises and monopolises all content into its platform — a new challenge for all media to be under Facebook’s authority.

……………..

References:

1TLHR, “The Charter Is Promulgated, the 104 Defendants Is Still Facing the Referendum Case.,” Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, April 7, 2017, http://www.tlhr2014.com/th/?p=3924.

2AFP, “Thai People Encouraged to ‘Socially Sanction’ Critics of Monarchy,” The Guardian, October 18, 2016, sec. World news, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/18/thai-people-can-socially-sanction-critics-of-monarchy?CMP=twt_gu.

3The Nation, “Prayut Appoints 39 Advisors for Super Reform/Reconciliation Committee,” The Nation, February 24, 2017, http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/breakingnews/30307134.

4SEAPA, “Netizens Say: We’re Not OK with the Draft Computer Crime Act -,” SEAPA – Southeast Asian Press Alliance, December 9, 2016, https://www.seapa.org/netizens-say-were-not-ok-with-the-draft-computer-crime-act/.

5SEAPA, “Background and Summary of the Media ‘protection’ Bill,” SEAPA – Southeast Asian Press Alliance, January 31, 2017, https://www.seapa.org/background-and-summary-of-the-media-protection-bill/.

6Bangkok Post, “Thaksin Sues ‘Thai Post’ Columnist, TNews,” Bangkokpost, March 30, 2017, http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1223916/thaksin-sues-thai-post-columnist-tnews.

7Bangkok Post, “Veera Blasts Arrest Warrant,” Bangkok Post, March 16, 2017, http://www.bangkokpost.com/archive/veera-blasts-arrest-warrant/1215293.

8Prachachai English, “EGAT Files Lawsuits against Power Plant Opponents | Prachatai English,” Prachatai English, March 14, 2017, http://prachatai.org/english/node/7002.

9Kaewta Ketbungkan Reporter Staff, “Activist ‘Pai Dao Din’ Arrested For Lese Majeste,” Khaosod English, December 3, 2016, http://www.khaosodenglish.com/politics/2016/12/03/activist-pai-dao-din-arrested-lese-majeste/.

10AFP, “BBC Journalist Faces Five Years Jail for Thailand Reporting,” Yahoo News, February 23, 2017, https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/34481720/bbc-journalist-faces-five-years-jail-for-thailand-reporting/#page1.

11iLaw, “Andy Hall Computer Crime Case,” Freedom of Expression Documentation Center, iLaw, September 20, 2016, https://freedom.ilaw.or.th/en/case/469#the_verdict.

12Prachachai English, “Thai Supreme Court Dismisses Case against Andy Hall | Prachatai English,” Prachatai English, November 3, 2016, http://prachatai.org/english/node/6691.

13Prachatai English, “Anti-Junta Activist Gets 11 Years, 4 Months in Jail for Lèse Majesté,” Prachatai English, January 27, 2017, http://prachatai.org/english/node/6879.

14Prachachai English, “Activist’s Mom Indicted for Lèse Majesté | Prachatai English,” Prachatai English, July 22, 2016, http://prachatai.org/english/node/6385.

15Prachatai English, “Authorities Intimidate Facebook Followers of Exiled Monarchy Critic | Prachatai English,” Prachatai English, December 8, 2016, https://prachatai.com/english/node/6765.

16SEAPA, “Ever-Expanding Powers of Authorities Set Dangerous Precedent -,” SEAPA – Southeast Asian Press Alliance, April 13, 2017, https://www.seapa.org/ever-expanding-powers-of-authorities-set-dangerous-precedent/.

17AFP, “Thai Court Scraps Mine Defamation Case in Rare Media Win,” Terra Daily, November 16, 2016, http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Thai_court_scraps_mine_defamation_case_in_rare_media_win_999.html.

18iLaw, “Somlak 2nd Case : Posted Facebook Criticizing a Gold Mine in Pichit Province,” Freedom of Expression Documentation Center iLaw, November 2016, https://freedom.ilaw.or.th/en/case/745.

19Bangkok Post, “Niece of Dead Soldier Seeks Justice over Defamation Suit,” Bangkok Post, March 17, 2017, http://www.bangkokpost.com/archive/niece-of-dead-soldier-seeks-justice-over-defamation-suit/1215973.

20SEAPA, “Supreme Court Reduces Sentence of Editor in Lèse Majesté Case,” SEAPA – Southeast Asian Press Alliance, February 23, 2017, https://www.seapa.org/supreme-court-reduces-sentence-of-editor-in-lese-majeste-case/.

21Krisdika, trans., “Broadcasting and Television Businesses Act B.E.2551 (2008),” Krisdika, 2008, http://www.krisdika.go.th/wps/wcm/connect/d51cc5004ba4484f9efcbf8b0853d392/BROADCASTING+AND+TELEVISION+BUSINESSES+ACT,+B.E.+2551+(2008).pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=d51cc5004ba4484f9efcbf8b0853d392.

22The National Press Council, “Summary of the Meeting of the Press Council, no.2/2017,” The National Press Council, March 2017, http://bit.ly/ThaiPressCouncil2_2017.

23Teeranai Charuvastra, “Prem Assumes Regency Over Thailand’s Empty Throne,” Khaosod English, October 14, 2016, http://www.khaosodenglish.com/politics/2016/10/14/prem-assumes-regency-thailands-empty-throne/.

24SEAPA, “While Thailand Is in Transition, Free Flowing Information and the Media’s Role Are Key,” IFEX, November 16, 2016, http://www.ifex.org/thailand/2016/11/16/media_role_transition/.

25Associated Press, “Website Shutdowns Soar After King’s Death,” Khaosod English, November 18, 2016, http://www.khaosodenglish.com/politics/2016/11/18/website-shutdowns-soar-kings-death/.

26NOW26, “More than 8,000 URLs Blocked from Violations of Lese Majeste Law,” NOW26.TV, April 12, 2017, http://www.now26.tv/view/102683.

27Oliver Holmes, “Thailand Opens Investigation into BBC for Alleged Insult of New King,” The Guardian, December 7, 2016, sec. World news, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/07/thailand-investigation-bbc-alleged-insult-new-king.

28Aukkarapon Niyomyat, Amy Sawitta Lefevre, and Pracha Hariraksapitak, “Thailand to Investigate BBC over Profile of New King: Minister,” Reuters, December 7, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-thailand-king-bbc-idUSKBN13W0FD.

29The Nation, “Police Raid Prachatai’s Office,” The Nation, July 12, 2016, http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/breakingnews/aec/30290384.

30SEAPA, “Political TV Talk Show Suspended for Criticizing the Judiciary and Military,” February 9, 2017, https://www.seapa.org/political-tv-talk-show-suspended-for-criticizing-the-judiciary-and-military/.

31SEAPA, “SEAPA Condemns NBTC Order against VOICE TV,” SEAPA – Southeast Asian Press Alliance, March 28, 2017, https://www.seapa.org/seapa-condemns-nbtc-order-against-voice-tv/.

32SEAPA, “Ever-Expanding Powers of Authorities Set Dangerous Precedent -,” SEAPA – Southeast Asian Press Alliance, April 13, 2017, https://www.seapa.org/ever-expanding-powers-of-authorities-set-dangerous-precedent/.

33Prachatai. “MDES blocks Phnom Penh Post” Prachatai, October 28, 2016. http://prachatai.com/node/68564.

34Victoria Ho, “Facebook Blocks Posts in Thailand That the Government Has Blacklisted,” Mashable, January 11, 2017, http://mashable.com/2017/01/11/facebook-blocking-thai-posts/.

35Matichon Online, “Check Up Thai Media Business, How to Survive in 4.0 Era,” Matichon, January 10, 2017, http://www.matichon.co.th/news/422188.

36Watchiranont Thongtep, “Liquor Tycoon’s Sons to Take Big Stake in Amarin Print, TV Business,” The Nation, November 26, 2016, http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/business/30300860.

37The Nation, “Prasarttong-Osoth Family Takes 50% Stake in One Channel in Bt1.9-B Deal,” The Nation, December 2, 2016, http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/business/corporate/30301246.

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