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Suman Basnet <[log in to unmask]>
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Suman Basnet <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 10:42:24 +0545
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With apologies for cross posting: 


AMARC calls to End Harassment of Community Radios in Thailand

July 22, 2010. Kathmandu. The World Association of Community Radio
Broadcasters, AMARC is deeply concerned by the reports about the
restrictions imposed on community radio stations in Thailand including the
closure of several stations. Recent reports state that using the emergency
decree, authorities have shut down 26 community-radio stations in nine
provinces and pressured six others to discontinue their services, and as
many as 84 community-radio stations have been blacklisted and their
activities closely monitored. It is further reported that at least 35 people
related to these media outlets - like radio hosts, station chiefs and
executives - are facing legal action for allegedly mobilising their
listeners to the red-shirt rally in Bangkok, for broadcasting what was going
on at the rally site and for distorting information. "However, there are no
clear details to substantiate these charges," said the Campaign for Popular
Media Reform (CPMR) secretary-general Suthep Wilailert. He was reported to
be speaking at a seminar about the fate of community radio stations under
the state of emergency.


Article19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states that
"everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right
includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive
and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of
frontiers."  As an advocate of fundamental human rights including the right
to communication and information, and as the global network of community
broadcasters, AMARC calls upon the Government of Thailand to ensure that
community broadcasters are not harassed for the political views they hold.
"Community radio stations speak on behalf of the people of the community and
it is wrong to execute the messenger. I appeal to the Government  of
Thailand and the concerned authorities to not to arbitrarily oppress
community broadcasters under any pretext," said Imam Prakoso, Vice President
for South East Asia in the AMARC Asia Pacific Regional Board. Expressing
concerns over the closure of the stations and legal actions underway against
community broadcasters, he has called to uphold the internationally accepted
rights of community radio stations to freely and independently broadcast
views on political, social, and economical, as well as all other issues that
concern the lives of the communities that the stations serve. 


As the world's biggest broadcasting movement with more than 5,000 member
community broadcasting stations and advocates worldwide, AMARC believes that
democracy and social justice is only achievable when there is a free press.




About AMARC:

AMARC is an international non-governmental organization serving the
community radio movement in over 110 countries, and advocating for the right
to communicate at the international, national, local and neighborhood
levels. AMARC has an International Secretariat in Montreal. It has regional
sections in Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific and offices in
Johannesburg, Buenos Aires, Brussels, and Kathmandu. For more information,
please contact Suman Basnet, Regional Coordinator for Asia-Pacific,
[log in to unmask] or visit www.asiapacific.amarc.org
<http://www.asiapacific.amarc.org/> .