World

Thai authorities cancel launch of rights groups' report on Vietnam's ethnic minority

Sunai Phasuk, left, Human Rights Watch’s senior researcher in Asia, and Umesh Pandey, a board member of Foreign Correspondents of Thailand, right, talk to policemen at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand in Bangkok, Thailand Friday, June 26, 2015. Thai authorities on Friday forced the human rights group to cancel the launch of its report on the Vietnamese government’s persecution of an ethnic minority, citing it could affect national security and bilateral relations. Thai police said in a statement Friday the scheduled event at the club could “have an impact on the country’s security or could affect the friendship and cooperation between Thailand and Vietnam.” (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Sunai Phasuk, left, Human Rights Watch’s senior researcher in Asia, and Umesh Pandey, a board member of Foreign Correspondents of Thailand, right, talk to policemen at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand in Bangkok, Thailand Friday, June 26, 2015. Thai authorities on Friday forced the human rights group to cancel the launch of its report on the Vietnamese government’s persecution of an ethnic minority, citing it could affect national security and bilateral relations. Thai police said in a statement Friday the scheduled event at the club could “have an impact on the country’s security or could affect the friendship and cooperation between Thailand and Vietnam.” (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)  (The Associated Press)

Thai authorities have forced a human rights group to cancel the launch of its report on the Vietnamese government's persecution of an ethnic minority.

The 33-page report by Human Rights Watch describes persecution of Montagnard Christians in Vietnam's Central Highlands, whose religious practices have been described by the government as "evil."

Thai police said in a statement Friday the scheduled event at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand could impact national security or the relations between Thailand and Vietnam.

Human Rights Watch researcher Sunai Phasuk said the intervention will damage Thailand's already tarnished international reputation under the military rule.

Thai authorities have cracked down on critics and dissents since last May's coup.

Friday's press conference was the third event in one month that has been cancelled at the venue.