Thai authorities threaten to censor coverage of anti-government protests

Thai authorities threaten to censor coverage of anti-government protests
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Government officials in Thailand are threatening to censor coverage of anti-government protests, according to The Associated Press, targeting news outlets, a publishing house and a Telegram messaging app being used by demonstrators.

The AP noted that a top official with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission confirmed that it had been ordered to block access to the encrypted messaging app Telegram.

A police spokesman also reportedly confirmed an order allowing authorities to censor news sites that are sharing information deemed “distorted.” A copy of the censorship request obtained by the AP showed that five online news sites and one digital broadcast were being targeted after showing live footage of the protests.

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Same Sky, known for producing work in the past with controversial publications, was also searched by police, according to the news service, which added that copies of three books were taken and the publisher was told to come in for questioning.

Additionally, authorities have reportedly threatened to take action against those who promote the protests on social media.

Bangkok was put under a state of emergency last week at the start of student-led protests against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and the monarchy, which have ramped up in recent days. Demonstrators say flaws in the country's constitution affected the outcome of last year’s general election.

While Thai officials are now reportedly threatening to silence demonstrators in an attempt to curb the protests,  it doesn’t appear that any of the censorship measures have been enacted.