Thailand's junta has forced the cancellation of a prominent civic forum examining its repressive media policies since the military toppled an elected government last May.

Germany's Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, a foundation promoting social democracy worldwide, said on its Facebook page that it would comply with a request from the junta to postpone Friday launch event for its study on media freedom in Thailand. Requests from the junta are tantamount to orders.

Manop Thip-oso, a spokesman for the Thai Journalists Association, said the group was sorry to see the event postponed, and concerned about the state of freedom of expression in the country.

The junta threatens critics with arrest under martial law. It is seeking to strengthen already harsh laws governing communication on the Internet and commentary on the country's monarchy.