Thai media censored under martial law
Bangkok, May 20, 2014-Army Commander General Prayuth Chan-ocha invoked martial law today amid rising political tension and escalating violence between pro- and anti-government protest groups in the national capital. The country’s 1914 martial law act gives the army leader sweeping discretionary powers to limit civil liberties and curb press freedoms.
At least 10 cable and satellite TV stations were ordered to stop broadcasting until further notice under a public announcement by the newly created Peace-Keeping Command Center, according to news reports. The stations included ASTV, Asia Update, BlueSky, DNN, FourChannel, MFTV, MV5, P&P, Tnews, and UDD, the reports said.
The stations, some of which serve openly as mouthpieces for political protest groups, were shut down to prevent them from spreading “false information” and to “maintain law and order,” according to news reports citing the military announcement. Unlicensed radio stations were also ordered to stop broadcasting, reports said.