PPF condemns shutdown of Voice TV in Thailand

PPF condemns shutdown of Voice TV in Thailand

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) in a letter to Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand has expressed concern over the order of National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) over suspending broadcast of Voice TV.

PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali in his letter, has condemned the step of NBTC and termed it an attack on media freedom. PPF also urged the authorities and media regulator to lift the order of suspending broadcasts of Voice TV.

According to Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA), the regulator has used its power and order forceful suspension of Voice TV broadcast to go off air for 15 days from February 13, 2019.

NBTC stated that the station aired several news items which lead to the risk of inciting conflict and divisions in the kingdom.

The suspension order caused after submission of complaints over broadcasts of two news talk shows Tonight Thailand (16 December 2018) and Wake Up News (21, 28, 29 January and 4 February 2019).

Makin Petplai, the Chief Executive Officer of Voice TV stated that “the station will take legal action to set the standard of NBTC’s power back in line with rule of law and press freedom, which has been questioned and challenged since the 2014 coup.”

He added, “Voice TV will appeal to the Constitutional Court as soon as possible.”

Last year, the regulator also suspended the programs The Daily Dose and Wake Up News for three days and Tonight Thailand for 15 days. Also the station had to suspend the commentators of Wake Up News and their cartoonist for a month.

Voice TV is a digital television channel owned by political actors including the Shinawatra family of ejected Prime Minister Thaksin.