Posts tagged “Thailand”

Thai advocates of liberal change now fear the worst

“THAILAND–Three years after its arrival, the controversial Computer Crime Act has done little to protect internet users against online threats such as hacking. Instead, it has been largely used to threaten and prosecute political dissidents.

While the demand from a circle of web masters, internet users and free speech advocates to have the act amended grows, conservatism from within the government and parliament continues to pose a challenge to their efforts to push for liberalisation of this law.”

From Bangkok Post

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Censorship is no basis for reconciliation

“Freedom of expression is being seriously challenged as the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva uses the Emergency Decree as its main mechanism in dismantling the supporting apparatus of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) and its red shirt movement.

The clean-up operations are extensive and affect not only those with ties to the red shirts but also the many who dared to speak out against the government. The Computer Crimes Act and lese majeste law have also been invoked in a wide and sweeping manner.

Some of the offences are real in nature and, under normal circumstances, would be dealt with by whoever is in government. However, by relying on the special powers of the Emergency Decree, the transparency which normally would be assured within the judicial process, is thereby obscured.

But does control and censorship work?

Apparently the government and the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES), the main enforcer of the Emergency Decree, think so.”

From Bangkok Post

Government uses state of emergency to escalate censorship

The Thai government has censored dozens of websites and a TV station under article 9 of yesterday’s state of emergency, which forbids the “dissemination of information liable to disturb public order.” Most of the media affected are linked to the opposition “Red Shirts” movement but some, such as the website Prachatai, are independent.

“We firmly condemn any use of news media to call for violence, but it is deplorable that the authorities are using the state of emergency to censor neutral or opposition news outlets,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We urge Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to order the restoration of the censored websites without delay and to close news media only when calls for violence are verified and following standard legal procedures.”

From RSF