Thailand’s ruling junta has blocked a panel discussion scheduled to take place this evening on the state of human rights in post-coup Thailand.
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT), which was due to host the seminar, announced Thursday afternoon that it had cancelled the event on the order of authorities, just hours before it was due to take place.
In a statement posted to its website, it said: “The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand regrets to announce that the scheduled event for tonight, the launch of the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights report on the human rights situation after the coup, has been cancelled on the orders of the NCPO [National Council for Peace and Order] and the police. The FCCT has received a written order from the police instructing us to stop the event.”
The event was organised by Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), with Khaosod English reporting that it was still going to send its members to the event at the scheduled time, 6pm.
“I insist that we will go ahead [with the event],” it quoted Poonsuk Poonsukcharoen, a member of TLHR, as saying.
FCCT president and BBC journalist Jonathan Head tweeted that the club would be open as usual this evening:
The @FCCThai club is open as usual tonight, despite TLHR cancellation. Please be aware there will be a visible police presence.
— Jonathan Head (@pakhead) June 4, 2015
Khaosod’s report said the the police order received by the FCCT stated the event was being stopped because it “may allow individuals with ill intention to create a [negative] situation and cause unrest, and may lead to a violation of the laws, and will not be appropriate under the current situation.”
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) June 4, 2015
The original FCCT announcement of the event can be viewed here.