Statement from Myanmar Journalist Association on Press restriction in Thailand.
Dated: 27th May 2014.
Concerns about the restrictions on the freedom of Thai journalists following the coup in Thailand:
1. It is reported that the military authority in our neighbor Thailand is taking necessary measures to restore peace and stability after staging a coup on May 22.
2. Myanmar Journalists Association, jointly signed MoU with Thai Journalist Association, is deeply concerned about the restrictions on the media and their fellow journalists and the infringement of the freedom of press following the military coup in Thailand.
3. Myanmar journalists have great sympathy and there is strong fellow feeling among them about the hardship currently being faced by Thai journalists as they experienced similar restrictions and persecutions under former governments.
4. Therefore, we would like to appeal earnestly to Thai military government to restore the freedom of press after lifting the restrictions on Thai journalists and ceasing arbitrary arrests if they are really desirous of bringing about genuine national reconciliation and safeguarding democracy.
Myanmar Journalists Association
MJN stands together with Thai journalists
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
To Whom It May Concern
The Thai military staged a coup d’état last week and took over full control of the government of Thailand, while suspending the country’s constitution.
Following the heavy-handed coup, thousands of Thai people have taken to the streets to protest against the coup and to demand the restoration of democracy.
The Thai army has been deployed to suppress public dissent and the military has detained some Thai journalists who have written critically of the government.
The Myanmar Journalist Network (MJN) is saddened by the actions of the military and the detention of Thai journalists who were doing their work.
Having press freedom is important for a country. This is a basic right for all people, who should have the right to freedom of expression. By arresting journalists, the military-run government could hurt freedom of press in Thailand.
Myanmar’s media have a long experience of suffering under a military regime. After a military coup in 1962 all people of Myanmar were without press freedom and they had to stay in darkness for more than five decades.
Myanmar initiated political reforms in 2011 and the country’s press freedom has since drastically improved. However, in recent months several Myanmar journalists have been detained and handed prison sentences by Myanmar’s reformist government, a situation that has tarnished the image of the reforms in the country.
Myanmar journalists understand the current conditions of Thai journalist who now suffer after having enjoyed a long period of press freedom. The current military coup has put new restrictions on press freedom in Thailand.MJN is seriously concerned over the fact that some Thai journalists were detained by theThai army and we condemn the actions by the military.
MJN is asking the Myanmar government, in its role as the current chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), to help resolve the problems of the detained Thai journalists and arrangefor their release.
MJN will help and stand together with the Thai journalists for press freedom in Thailand. Those who have been detained must be released unconditionally. MJN strongly supports and will cooperate with other ASEAN countries to advance press freedom in the region.
MJN (Myanmar Journalist Network)
Statement by the Myanmar Journalists Networks on the arrests of Thai Journalists
27th May 2014
The Myanmar Journalists Networks are deeply concerned on the arrests of journalists from Thailand by the military, after the military staged a coup d’état on 22nd May 2014 led by the Army Commander- in- Chief General Prayuth Chan-Ocha and took over full control of the government of Thailand and suspending the country’s Constitution.
The role of Thai journalists is very crucial in providing accurate information and manifesting diverse political opinions.
The Myanmar Journalists Networks view that it is not proper to arrest journalists and suspend some media, the ears and eyes of the Nation in such important period not only for the Thai Media industry but for the rest of neighboring ASEAN countries.
The Myanmar Journalists Networks want to express their strong support for the journalists who are arrested and deeply sympathize with their families.
Thus, the Myanmar Journalists Networks strongly demand that the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council free the arrested journalists as soon as possible and to practice freedom of the press.
Myanmar Journalists Network
Myanmar Journalists Network (Magway)
Southern Myanmar Journalists Network
Myanmar Journalists Network (Monywa)