Some radio stations still broadcasting
Some red-shirt radio stations have continued broadcasting despite orders nearly a week ago to censor and shut them down, thanks to loyal listeners, sympathisers and supportive communities coming to their defence.
Krom Premphon, a taxi driver, said yesterday that soldiers had made five attempts but failed to take one red-shirt community radio station off the air. "Police are also our informants," he said.
This allowed them to barricade the station in time, he said. "I guarantee you that they can't enter the area. At minimum [the soldiers] will face stone pestles and boiling water thrown at them [from the nearby flats]. I help them out as a guard at night.
"Frankly speaking, I think the government should allow diverse views to be heard. There're only two [red-shirt] stations left in our area."
Under the state of emergency, Deputy PM Suthep Thaugsuban ordered a crackdown on all red-shirt media, whom the government accused of spreading misinformation.
Noi, a 30-something, well-educated red shirt, said the persecution was making more red shirts upset, because they feel they are not being treated equally. "I can't take this. Can you? They're trying to muzzle our media through all means," she said.
One red-shirt radio station kept attacking the government for its censorship attempts.
"Now we don't have many [red-shirt] media left. Only a few community radio stations are still on air. The government is feeding us with one-sided news and fanning more divisiveness in Thai society."
US-based Human Rights Watch issued a statement on Monday condemning the censorship of red-shirt media and called for an immediate end to the suppression. The "government greatly undermined media freedom and freedom of expression ... Human Rights Watch calls on the government to immediately lift the censorship and other restraints on the rights to freedom of expression of online and broadcast media."