Thai Prime Minister Says He'll 'Probably' Kill Journalists Who Deviate From Official Line

    Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha smiles during a welcome luncheon hosted by Japan Business Federation in Tokyo in February. (AP / Koji Sasahara)

Thailand’s junta leader and prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, who toppled the government of Yingluck Shinawatra in a coup last May, told reporters on Wednesday that he will “probably just execute” any journalist who does not “report the truth.”

Prayuth had been asked at a press conference how he would deal with journalists who do not adhere in their reporting to the government’s preferred view of events. He spoke “without a trace of a smile,” Reuters reported.

Reuters, via The Guardian, continued:

Known for his abrupt manner and impulsive remarks, Prayuth launched a crackdown on dissenters after seizing power in May. He has said Thailand is not ready to lift martial law, which gives the army sweeping powers, including for arrest and detention. In January, the junta forced a German foundation to cancel a forum on press freedom, saying Thailand was at a sensitive juncture.

Since taking power, the junta has made full use of martial law, which also bans all political gatherings.

Prayuth was particularly critical of the Thai-language daily newspaper Matichon, accusing it of siding with the ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his allies. “Don’t think I don’t know that your writing is pro the previous administration,” he told a Matichon reporter shortly before boarding a plane to Brunei. “The previous interior ministry bought many advertising spaces from you.”

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Alexander Reed Kelly
Former Associate Editor
In December 2010, Alex was arrested for civil disobedience outside the White House alongside Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, Pentagon whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, healthcare activist Margaret Flowers and…
Alexander Reed Kelly

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