Thailand suspends TV station over protests coverage

Pro-democracy protesters flash three-fingered salute during a demonstration at Kaset intersection, suburbs of Bangkok, Thailand, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. (AP)
Short Url
Updated 20 October 2020

Thailand suspends TV station over protests coverage

  • Thailand said on Monday that three other media organizations are under investigation
  • Protests have only gained momentum since the government announced a ban last Thursday and arrested dozens of protesters

BANGKOK: A Thai court on Tuesday ordered the suspension of an online TV station critical of the government, which has accused it of violating emergency measures aimed at ending three months of protests.
Voice TV had also been found to have breached the Computer Crime Act by uploading “false information,” digital ministry spokesman Putchapong Nodthaisong told reporters.
Thailand has drawn criticism from rights groups for banning demonstrations and the publication of news seen as damaging by the government as it tries to end the protests against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and the powerful monarchy.
Rittikorn Mahakhachabhorn, Editor-in-Chief of Voice TV, said it would continue broadcasting until the court order arrived.
“We insist that we have been operating based on journalistic principles and we will continue our work presently,” he said.
Thailand said on Monday that three other media organizations are under investigation.
Voice TV is owned in part by the Shinawatra family of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister Yingluck, who was overthrown by Prayuth in a 2014 coup. Both fled Thailand to escape corruption cases they branded political.
Street protests since mid-July are the biggest challenge in decades to the monarchy under King Maha Vajiralongkorn and to Prayuth, who rejects accusations of engineering an election last year to keep power.
The demonstrations have been largely led by youths and students in contrast with a decade of street violence between supporters of Thaksin and conservative royalists before Prayuth seized power.
Protests have only gained momentum since the government announced a ban last Thursday and arrested dozens of protesters, including many of the main leaders.
A lawyer for two of them, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak and Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, said they would be arrested again on Tuesday as soon as they had been freed on bail granted by a court over earlier charges related to the protests.
Prime Minister Prayuth has said he will not quit in the face of the protests.
His cabinet agreed on Tuesday to hold an emergency session of parliament next week about the crisis. Prayuth’s supporters hold a majority in the parliament, whose upper house was named entirely by his former junta.


Maradona of Aabdine, Lebanon? Looking back at the TV show that revealed it

Updated 26 November 2020

Maradona of Aabdine, Lebanon? Looking back at the TV show that revealed it

  • The football legend died of a heart attack on Wednesday at the age of 60 after battling health issues and undergoing emergency surgery for a subdural haematoma several weeks ago

LONDON: Amid news of the death of Argentinian football superstar Diego Maradona on Wednesday, a Lebanese television clip that claimed he was originally from Lebanon has resurfaced on social media.

The Future Television show, Sire w Infatahit, hosted by award-winning journalist Zaven Kouyoumdjian, was the first to reveal the claim that Maradona originally hailed from the town of Aabdine in north Lebanon.

“There are people who left Aabdine to go to Argentina. However, they were only able to travel on ships because there were not many,” a man from Aabdine said in a report from the show.

“So they left on board the Titanic, which later sank but, one of them survived. One of their relatives is the great football legend, Maradona.

“Even after he became an international superstar, they came back to the village asking about their relatives in order for him to meet them.”

The football legend died of a heart attack on Wednesday at the age of 60 after battling health issues and undergoing emergency surgery for a subdural haematoma several weeks ago.