The Isaan Record calls on officials to stop assaulting journalists and immediately release Mr. Waranyu Khongsathittum, a citizen reporter of The Isaan Record.
The Isaan Record editorial team is deeply saddened by the violent assault on our citizen journalist, Mr. Waranyu “Book” Khongsathitthum, assigned by the editor to report on the protests organized by the “Ratsadon (People) Stop APEC 2022” group this afternoon (November 18, 2022) in Bangkok.
At 12:40 p.m., Mr. Waranyu was reporting live on The Isaan Record’s Thai language Facebook page near the Democracy Monument. Crowd control police came in and attacked Mr. Waranyu and journalists from many other news agencies and suffered injuries. While being assaulted, Mr. Waranyu shouted, “I’m a reporter! I’m a reporter!” but he was taken away by the police to the Thung Song Hong Police Station.
The Isaan Record editorial board strongly urges the police to stop using violence against the media, which has the duty to report on the protesters’ movement in every form, and demand that they release Mr. Waranyu Khongsathitthum as soon as possible. At the same time, we ask the officials to accept responsibility for any damage or injuries caused.
Mr. Waranyu is a participant in a citizen journalist training program that aims to build up the skills and professionalism of citizen journalists who can then competently and responsibly produce media and news to reduce conflict and social injustice.
However, the assault and detention of Mr. Waranyu puts all journalists at risk and increase rather reduce conflict.
In this instance, the police do not appear to recognize the importance and rights of the media.
Therefore, we ask the officials to respect the work of the media because “press freedom is the freedom of the people.”
The Isaan Record Editorial Board
November 18, 2022