Thai junta's gag on media raises alarm, criticism over freedom of speech

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Critics and journalists have raised concerns about the Thai military government's latest move to tighten its grip on the media by banning them from criticizing the junta's operations.

Thai Journalists Association chairman Pradit Ruangdit says the junta's order will affect the people's rights to access news and information and may allow authorities to abuse their power.

The National Council for Peace and Order issued an order late Friday prohibiting criticism by anyone on all forms of media against the operations of the junta and its personnel.

It also said it would immediately shut down publication or broadcasting of any media that defy the edict.

Media freedom advocate Sarinee Achavanuntakul says the order will also have a chilling effect on ordinary citizens who express their views on social media.