Connect with us


Free media threatened by Covid-19-inspired laws

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: Laws to combat Covid-19 misinformation often suppress journalists as well.

The International Commission of Jurists is warning that media and journalists in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam are seeing legal repression grow during the Covid-19 pandemic. In a submission to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the group outlined the expanding threat. New laws that many claim violate human rights also serve to throttle the space in which media and reporting can operate, limiting their ability to investigate and report important information and details freely.

Governments in Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia are enacting these new regulations that may be well-intentioned, as a means to control misinformation about Covid-19 as the pandemic rages on. But they also include glaring loopholes that may allow abuse of human rights. Extreme punishments for violations like jail time and large fines are also cited as a deterrent to free media.

The ICJ asserts that these three countries are already abusing current laws to restrict information and dissent by punishing social media posters and media journalists struggling to report during Covid-19. There may be an uncomfortable grey area between the need for an unrestricted press and the often urgent need to quash false information about the pandemic from spreading and threatening public health by discouraging necessary health and safety precautions.

But the ICJ argues that more targeted action against this misinformation is more effective than disproportionately broad restrictions that are punished with huge fines and prison sentences.

The ICJ’s paper calls for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to push the governments of Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia to strike a balance between public safety during Covid-19 and access for media workers and journalists. They view this as a balance between the rights of freedom of expression and the right to a healthy life. A report is being prepared now for the UN human Rights council on journalistic safety.

SOURCE: Prachatai


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.



  1. Avatar


    Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 5:30 pm

    The Thaiger has no worries as you just seem to unquestioningly print any nonsense and propaganda that the powers that be spoon feed you with.

  2. Avatar

    Jesus Monroe

    Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    The Governments luv this shit. They get to bring in laws that further restrict peoples freedom using covid as the scapegoat……Naughty boys they are……..

  3. Avatar

    John Flynn

    Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 10:03 pm

    Now I see why Thaiger can not allow all opinions to be published.
    Apparently they risk heavy fines or jail time if they allow information to be published that the government deems “misinformation”.
    Such a pity because the Thai people are in the dark as most cannot read English. Now that they are under heavy censorship, there is no hope of them finding out the truth about anything.

  4. Avatar

    elisa massage lyon

    Monday, May 31, 2021 at 10:10 pm

    On ne pousse pas les etudes bien loin ici, et pour peu que l’on sache, on tire parti de
    tout, parce que l’esprit, joint a un exterieur serieux, les empeche de paraitre embarrasses de leur propre ignorance.
    elisa massage lyon En 1765, a l’age
    de seize ans, Gœthe commencait a Leipzig le cours de ses etudes academiques, et
    se faisait inscrire dans la nation bavaroise (les etudiants se divisaient alors en nations), a la faculte de droit.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand22 mins ago

Unemployed Bangkok chef arrested after allegedly trying to sell rare butterflies to undercover agents

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Phuket Covid-19: 1 Phuket Prison death, 1 Sandbox infection

Central Thailand2 hours ago

Bovine attack kills forest ranger in Khao Yai National Park

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand3 hours ago

Korat Police allegedly use police van for trip to beach

Thailand3 hours ago

Kalasin man allegedly robs convenience store and then a gold shop the next day before being arrested

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Sunday Covid Update: 117 deaths and 13,576 new cases

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Tourism20 hours ago

Local businesses say they aren’t profiting from Phuket Sandbox

Crime21 hours ago

Woman shot by stray gunfire during motorcycle shooting

Phuket22 hours ago

Phuket pair arrested in possession of meth pills, homemade gun

Coronavirus (Covid-19)23 hours ago

Prayut to propose to CCSA to reopen theatres, allow filmmaking

Coronavirus (Covid-19)23 hours ago

Saturday Covid-19 UPDATE: Select provincial totals

Transport23 hours ago

Woman dresses as astronaut to show moon-like road condition

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

CCSA announces vaccination goals for October; 50% inoculated

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Phuket Covid-19: 235 daily infections, 238 hospital beds available

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Saturday Covid Update: 122 Deaths 14,109 new infections

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand5 days ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11