Media organisations in Myanmar and the Philippines have issued statements calling for press freedom in Thailand.
The Myanmar Journalists Association (MJA) and the Myanmar Journalist Network (MJN) as well as the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) referred to their own history and experiences in giving moral support to Thai journalists.
“MJN is asking the Myanmar government in its role as the current chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to help resolve the issue of the detained Thai journalists and arrange for their release,” the MJN statement said.
“MJN will help and stand together with the Thai journalists for press freedom in Thailand. Those who have been detained must be released unconditionally. MJN strongly supports and will co-operate with other ASEAN countries to advance press freedom in the region,” it said.
The NUJP said it was alarmed and dismayed by the clampdown on media by the Thai military following its imposition of martial law.
“Our concern stems from our historic experience with martial rule, when the curtailment of freedom of information preceded the wholesale trampling of other basic rights and freedoms,” the NUJP statement said.
“Inhibiting free expression can never serve the cause of restoring democracy or even order.
“Only free discourse, no matter how strident it may seem, will arm a people with the knowledge essential for them to make informed choices about their future.”