At FORUM-ASIA, we employ a range of strategies to effectively achieve our goals and create a lasting impact.

Through a diverse array of approaches, FORUM-ASIA is dedicated to achieving our objectives and leaving a lasting imprint on human rights advocacy.

Who we work with

Our interventions are meticulously crafted and ready to enact tangible change, addressing pressing issues and empowering communities.

Each statements, letters, and publications are meticulously tailored, poised to transform challenges into opportunities, and to empower communities towards sustainable progress.

Multimedia Stories

With a firm commitment to turning ideas into action, FORUM-ASIA strives to create lasting change that leaves a positive legacy for future generations.

Explore our dedicated sub-sites to witness firsthand how FORUM-ASIA turns ideas into action, striving to create a legacy of lasting positive change for future generations.

Subscribe our monthly e-newsletter

One Year After the Coup: Restrictions on Freedoms Remain

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

One year ago today, a coup de etat was staged in Thailand, which ousted Prime Minister Thaksin and installed an interim military government. The government immediately imposed restrictions on freedom of expression, association and assembly – undermining the progress of the country for greater democracy.
(Bangkok) The Campaign for Popular Media Reform (CPMR) and the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) join together to express concern over the deprivation of freedoms in Thailand: freedom of expression, association and assembly, that have been occurring since the military coup one year ago today.

On 19 September 2006, the coup d’état was staged – ousting Prime Minister Thaksin Shinnawatra and installing the interim military government. Prime Minister Thaksin was in New York participating in the 61st United Nations General Assembly when tanks rolled into Bangkok, imposing Martial Law immediately. General Sonthi Boonyaratglin, the leader of the coup imposed restriction on freedom of expression, association and assembly in a motion to counter any attempts against the coup.

In the five-page briefer, Thailand: One Year After the Military Coup and its Effects on the Three Freedoms , jointly released by CPMR and FORUM-ASIA today, it highlights that within the duration of a one year period, freedom of expression in Thailand has plummeted from partly-free in 2006 to non-free in 2007, as documented by the Freedom House, the US based democracy watchdog. Under the military government, Thailand’s ranking on press freedom was downgraded from 107 to 122 in 2007 as was documented by the Reporters Without Borders. Threats to television stations and community radios by the military government during the course of the year were a major cause to this downgraded ranking. We are also concerned over the recent enactment of the Computer Crime Act, which will affect the freedoms of internet users. According to Freedom Against Censorship Thailand, the partner of CPMR, more than 15,000 websites, mostly political, have been closed down by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology.

In the case of freedom of association and assembly, there have been cases when these rights for trade unions, student groups, and local farmer groups (namely the Assembly of the Poor) and members of anti-coup groups, have been suppressed through threats and intimidation. Currently, 35 of the country’s 76 provinces remain under Martial Law, giving unlimited power to the military to harass and intimidate opposition. The introduction of the Internal Security Act has also raised similar concerns as the act will legitimise human rights violations based on the notion of “national security”.

As a member of the United Nations, CPMR and FORUM-ASIA urge the Thai government to respect the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly as highlighted in International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Thailand has acceded to the ICCPR and enshrined these rights in the new constitution. We also urge the government to accept that the three freedoms are a crucial part in the democratic development and good governance of the country.

Anselmo Lee
Executive Director, FORUM-ASIA

Supinya Klangnarong
Secretary General, CPMR

For further information please contact:

Supinya Klangnarong, Secretary General, CPMR, +66 86 788 9322
Anselmo Lee, Executive Director, FORUM-ASIA, +66 82 391 8801