Journalists charged with defaming Thai navy

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Reuters journalist Jason Szep is congratulated by a colleague on the phone in the Reuters Washington bureau after it was announced Szep,Reuters had won a Pulitzer prize for international reporting on the violent persecution of a Muslim minority in Bu
Thai authorities on Thursday charged two journalists with defaming Thailand\’s navy in an online news report about the trafficking of refugees from Myanmar, amid concerns about press freedom in the country.
The Australian editor, Alan Morison, and his Thai colleague, Chutima Sidasathian, were also charged with violating the country\’s Computer Crimes Act. They face up to seven years in prison and a $3,000 fine, if convicted. 
Both appeared before a court in Phuket to hear the charges Thursday. Morison slammed the case, saying it represents an ongoing war on media freedom in Thailand. 
"If the military win this one then there clearly are going to be other occasions when the media will be reporting military activities and think twice about what to say and that\’s terrible, really. I mean, the military has to be open to the gaze of the people that it represents, the people of Thailand, and not be silent and secretive."
Morison and Chutima work for the English-language Phuketwan website, which last year republished portions of the Reuters news story on the Rohingya refugees. 
Reuters has since won a distinguished Pulitzer Prize for its reporting on the Rohingya, who are fleeing persecution in Burma. 
Both journalists were released on bail Thursday.
Source – Agencies

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