Friday, July 11, 2014
Freedom of Expression in Thailand
On May 22 of this year there was a military coup in Thailand. This coup severely restricted the right of freedom of expression, going so far as to arrest dozens of people who speak out against the brutal and arbitrary nature of the military. In a recent article published by HRW.org, a story is told about a news editor who was arrested for being critical of the military on Facebook. The arrest of the editor caused a problem for the military junta in Thailand because of the world wide outpouring of support for the editor. Since this incident the junta has been forced to give leeway to non-violent critics of the military. Sadly this incident has not forced the junta to release over 300 prisoners held for similar reasons in prisons across the country. The junta even claims that all arrests for non-violent freedom of expression have stopped and that they no longer arrest those critical of the ruling government.
I find this news story incredibly depressing. For my entire life I have been in favor of unrestricted, non-violent freedom of expression. I believe that without this freedom every society would be drastically different. Looking at North Korea, this country has very strict laws in place to prevent freedom of expression and the entire country is forced to believe a lie because of it. The fact that the current government of Thailand is using posts peoples’ Facebook pages to target arrests is very concerning. This article shows that there are advances in technology that destroy human rights instead of advancing them like I talked about in my last blog. This article also highlights the fact that many developing countries around the world are caught in a cycle which is very hard to escape. This cycle causes long term suffering for citizens of the country. The reason why this cycle persists is because countries such as Thailand are afraid of the freedom of expression. If country leaders are so insecure they cannot take criticisms perhaps they should not be politicians. In the United States, it is the exact opposite, politicians are forced to take any criticism whether it be from another politician or a citizen.
Main Website: http://www.hrw.org/