TJA and TBJA Urge Police to Bring Attackers of Thai Media Mogul to Justice
Thai Journalists Association and Thai Broadcast Journalists Association condemn the pre-dawn war weapon assault on Sondhi Limthongkul, founder of ASTV Manager Media Group by an identified number of gunmen in front of Wat Eiam Woranut temple on 17 April on his way to the office in Bangkok. “The attack is a blatant, cruel and barbaric act,” said the two media professional groups. Local media reports said about 90 bullets were fired from four types of deadly gun weapons of mass destruction.
TJA and TBJA said the well-prepared attack was not only intent on Sondhi’s life but also further deteriorated the current political situation and potentially escalated the on-going violence.
“The attack is in defiance of the government’s declaration of state of emergency and a breach of laws that are intent to protect the people’s safety and bring the situation back to normal,” said the statement
The two organisations urge Police Commissioner Pol Gen Pacharawat Wongsuwan to instruct a police squad to track down attackers and bring them to justice as quickly as possible in order to prevent recurrence the incident that has posed threats to the media freedom. “This will restore public confidence in lives and bodies of the media workers and Thai people in general and at the same time in the work efficiency of the National Police Commission,” said the statement.
“We reaffirm the duty of the media in the current situation is to be able to report facts and opinions in a free and diverse manner in accordance with professional ethics. However, any action against individual media outlet with different views shall be taken in respect of due legal process, not through the same cruel and barbaric means used against Sondhi in order to enable the media to perform their duty freely and without fear,”
17 April 2009
Thai Journalists Association
Thai Broadcast Journalists Association