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Thailand's military junta forces cancellation of press freedom conference

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Thailand’s junta has forced a German foundation to cancel a prominent forum on media restrictions imposed since the military toppled an elected government last May.


The move is the latest sign of defensiveness by the army, which installed an interim civilian Cabinet but reserves ultimate power for itself. On Wednesday, a foreign ministry spokesman complained that a visiting US State Department envoy had hurt the country’s pride by calling for an end to martial law.

Germany’s Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, a foundation promoting social democracy worldwide, said on its Facebook page that it would comply with a request from the junta to postpone Friday’s presentation of a study on media freedom in Thailand.


Requests from the junta are tantamount to orders.


The junta, officially called the National Council for Peace and Order, threatens critics with arrest under martial law. It is seeking to strengthen already harsh laws governing communication on the Internet and comments on the country’s monarchy.

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