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Media seeks safety measures at protest sites

The Thai Broadcast Journalists Association (TBJA) and the Thai Journalists Association (TJA) on Wednesday called on the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO) and the antigovernment People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) to ensure media safety and access to information in covering the upcoming protest and Bangkok Shutdown next week.

Their representatives met PDRC Suthep Thaugsuban and Police Chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew in separate meetings on Wednesday.

In a fourpoint letter submitted to Suthep, the media organisations urged the PDRC to provide a media safety zone at every protest site, not to incite hatred against the media among protesters and to allow media workers to cover the event unobstructed.

Two media organisations yesterday urged the People's Democratic Reform Committee to ensure the safety of reporters and that their journalistic duty would not be blocked by protesters on Monday.

In the joint statement, the two associations issued five demands, as follows:

1. The PDRC must provide a safety zone at each rally stage and there should be area for TV stations to conduct live broadcasts of the rally.

2. The PDRC must ensure that newspaper delivery trucks could pass through rally areas and the protesters must not block the delivery trucks and mobile broadcasting units of any TV station.

3. The PDRC must ensure that speakers on the stage do not attack the media, as such actions could lead to misunderstandings between the demonstrators and reporters at the rally areas.

4. If protesters besiege certain government offices, the PDRC must allow reporters to exit the blocked areas when they identify themselves with a media ID card or a light green media armband.

5. The PDRC must arrange for coordinators between the media and protesters so that the coordinators can provide timely help to field reporters.

They asked Adul to take care the safety of the media at the rally sites and ensure that security personnel facilitate safe passage of the media in and out the areas which may be shut down by the protesters.

The CAPO is also requested to be cautious on its information broadcast to the public via TV pool.


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