Thai authorities asked to ensure safety of journalists fleeing from Myanmar

This handout photo from the Royal Thai Army taken in late April 2021 and released on May 3, 2021 shows military personnel detaining illegal immigrants in an undisclosed location near the border areas between Thailand and neighbouring countries Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. (Photo by Handout / ROYAL THAI ARMY / AFP)

Thai Journalist Association (TJA) has issued a statement, asking Thai authorities to uphold humanitarian principles and to ensure the safety of five media broadcasters and trainers from the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) Association, after a report that they fled violence and the media crackdown in Myanmar and that Thai authorities are trying to push them back into Myanmar.

The statement said that the group allegedly crossed the Thai border illegally, in San Sai district in Chiang Mai province, and were arrested on May 9th, 2021.

Yesterday, DVB, a public service broadcaster in Myanmar, issued an emergency statement, saying that its three senior journalists and two activists, who escaped to Thailand, were arrested during a random search by Thai police and charged for illegal entry to Thailand.

DVB asked Thai authorities not to deport the group back to Myanmar, saying their lives will be in serious danger if they were to return. The team had been covering the demonstrations in Myanmar until March 8th, the day the military revoked DVB’s TV license and banned DVB from undertaking any kind of reporting.

Thai Journalists Association’s statement on the fate of journalists fleeing Myanmar – สมาคมนักข่าวนักหนังสือพิมพ์แห่งประเทศไทย

The Thai Journalists Association (TJA) expresses grave concerns over the arrests on May 9, 2021, of five media broadcasters and trainers belonging to DVB Association in Thailand’s northern region.

Earlier today, The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT) also issued a statement, through its Facebook page, asking for the five detainees to be released and saying, under no circumstances, should they be deported back to Myanmar.

FCCT added that Thailand should offer them protection, and grant them the temporary right to remain in Thailand.

Since the coup on February 1st, more than 70 journalists, locals and foreign, have been arrested by security forces in Myanmar. They are among almost 5,000 people who have been detained by the authorities so far. Most private media outlets were stripped of their publishing rights and licenses and many journalists were arrested in their own homes.

The left-handed pen

As international pressure increases, the coup installed government of Myanmar, led by Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, has ordered the news media to submit to reporting the military’s propaganda, while security forces attack and detain members of the press.


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