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World Thailand suspends TV station over protests coverage

10:50  20 october  2020
10:50  20 october  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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Pro -democracy protesters at a rally on Sunday. Police are investigating some media outlets over their coverage of the demonstrations [Gorge Police in Thailand are seeking an investigation of four independent media outlets and a protest group for their coverage of recent protests on suspicion of

Representatives of television stations will be summoned for a meeting with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC), Thailand ’s broadcast regulator, for discussions about their live broadcasts of the siege drama in Nakhon Ratchasima.

By Panarat Thepgumpanat and Panu Wongcha-um

a large crowd at night: FILE PHOTO: Anti-government protest in Bangkok © Reuters/ATHIT PERAWONGMETHA FILE PHOTO: Anti-government protest in Bangkok

BANGKOK (Reuters) - A Thai court on Tuesday ordered the suspension of an online TV station critical of the government, which has accused it of violating emergency measures aimed at ending three months of protests.

Voice TV had also been found to have breached the Computer Crime Act by uploading "false information," digital ministry spokesman Putchapong Nodthaisong told reporters.

Thailand has drawn criticism from rights groups for banning demonstrations and the publication of news seen as damaging by the government as it tries to end the protests against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and the powerful monarchy.

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Read more: Thailand 's protests and their digital dimension. The announcement spurred anger from media groups and accusations that Thai Prime Minister All of the outlets have been broadcasting live coverage of the protests . Voice TV and Prachatai are openly sympathetic towards the demonstrators

Thousands of protesters staged another anti-government rally in the Thai capital, Bangkok, on Sunday to demand political reforms. Observers said Sunday's protest at Bangkok's Democracy Monument was one of the biggest anti-government demonstrations since Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha took

Rittikorn Mahakhachabhorn, Editor-in-Chief of Voice TV, said it would continue broadcasting until the court order arrived.

"We insist that we have been operating based on journalistic principles and we will continue our work presently," he said.

Thailand said on Monday that three other media organisations are under investigation.

Voice TV is owned in part by the Shinawatra family of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister Yingluck, who was overthrown by Prayuth in a 2014 coup. Both fled Thailand to escape corruption cases they branded political.

Street protests since mid-July are the biggest challenge in decades to the monarchy under King Maha Vajiralongkorn and to Prayuth, who rejects accusations of engineering an election last year to keep power.

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BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai police are seeking an investigation of four media outlets and a protest group over their coverage of protests on Police would request Thailand 's broadcast regulator and digital ministry to investigate the outlets "and suspend broadcasting or remove computer information

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The demonstrations have been largely led by youths and students in contrast with a decade of street violence between supporters of Thaksin and conservative royalists before Prayuth seized power.

Protests have only gained momentum since the government announced a ban last Thursday and arrested dozens of protesters, including many of the main leaders.

A lawyer for two of them, Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak and Panusaya "Rung" Sithijirawattanakul, said they would be arrested again on Tuesday as soon as they had been freed on bail granted by a court over earlier charges related to the protests.

Prime Minister Prayuth has said he will not quit in the face of the protests.

His cabinet agreed on Tuesday to hold an emergency session of parliament next week about the crisis. Prayuth's supporters hold a majority in the parliament, whose upper house was named entirely by his former junta.

(Additional reporting by Orathai Sriring, Patpicha Tanakasempipat, Juarawee Kittisilpa; Writing by Matthew Tostevin)

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Thai protesters plan to march to the German Embassy on Monday to submit a letter questioning King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s legal status in the European country, stepping up pressure as they push for changes to the monarchy. © Photographer: Mladen Antonov/AFP via Getty Images Thai Parliament Set to Meet as Protests Continue.

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