Connect with us

Thailand

Free media threatened by Covid-19-inspired laws

Published

 on 

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

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.

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:

Hot News6 mins ago

US forces take down three senior ISIS figures in Syria

Events16 mins ago

LIV golfers trundle pointlessly into Bangkok’s ‘billionaire’s paradise’

Hot News32 mins ago

Suitcase in Japan held different kind of explosives as bomb squad finds sex toys

Sponsored57 mins ago

5 reasons why Thailand educators shouldn’t miss Bett Asia in Bangkok this year

Crime39 mins ago

The world mourns mass shooting at northeast Thailand daycare centre

Hot News47 mins ago

World’s oldest dog Pebbles dies at age 22

Crime50 mins ago

Mass shooting in northeast Thailand: Death toll rises to 37

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand1 hour ago

Mass shooting in Thailand 37 killed | GMT

World2 hours ago

Slaughtered Thai grandfather celebrated in street sign

Hot News2 hours ago

A sickening scene as little ones massacred while sleeping at Thai nursery

Guides16 hours ago

Foodie Zone: Where to get vegan desserts in Bangkok 2022

Thailand17 hours ago

Thailand News Today | 36 dead in a mass shooting at a nursery in northeast Thailand

Guides17 hours ago

5 best wine bars in Bangkok offering rich and quality wine

North East17 hours ago

Hip businesses in northeast Thai province offer tasty food and fun experiences

Crime17 hours ago

British CEO arrested at Bangkok Airport over 40 million baht fraud accusations

Thailand17 hours ago

Thailand’s 5 national parks raise entry fees for foreigners by 100%

Thailand1 year ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Phuket2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Trending