Thailand's media freedom ranking in 2017 has slid six slots to 142, far behind Myanmar in 131st position.
In last year’s World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders, the Paris-based international non-governmental organisation that monitors the liberty of the media, Thailand’s ranking was 136.
The Kingdom fares worse than three more Asean countries – Indonesia (124, the best among Asean states this year), the Philippines (127) and Cambodia (132).
However, Thailand stands above five other Asean countries – Malaysia (144), Singapore (151), Brunei (156), Laos (170) and Vietnam (175).
The accompanying report by Reporters Without Borders noted that Thailand is ruled by a military junta, the National Council for Peace and Order, which “keeps journalists and citizen-journalists under permanent surveillance, often summons them for questioning and detains them arbitrarily”.
“The already feared Computer Crime Act gives the authorities even more surveillance and censorship powers,” it said.
However, the report also mentioned that no journalists, netizens or media assistants have been killed in Thailand so far this year.