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A photograph has been taken down at the entrance to the Navy base

Navy Commander Removes Phuket Journalist from Base Blacklist

Friday, January 16, 2015
PHUKET: The photograph of a Phuketwan reporter, prominently displayed for several months in the entry guardhouse at the Royal Thai Navy base on Phuket, has been removed, the Commander, Vice Admiral Saiyan Prasongsamret, confirmed today.

Reporter Chutima Sidasathian and other representatives of Phuketwan will no longer be blacklisted from entering the base.

It is understood that Vice Admiral Saiyan ordered the blacklist to end late last year, soon after taking command.

Khun Chutima said: ''I appreciate the commander's decision. It indicates his concern for a good relationship with us and the media in general.''

Khun Chutima had been turned away from events involving the National Council for Peace and Order and was told she was banned from the base.

Phuketwan editor Alan Morison said the decision to take down the photo was a positive step in restoring the good relationship that the news outlet enjoyed with the Navy before charges involving criminal defamation and the Computer Crimes Act were laid late in 2014.

The case is scheduled to be heard at Phuket Provincial Court on July 14, 15 and 16.

Morison, whose passport has been surrendered to the court, is visiting Australia to see his ailing 91-year-old father after being granted permission to travel by court officials.

He and Khun Chutima remain on bail of 100,000 baht each, provided by the Andaman Community Rights and Legal Aid Centre, based in Trang province. Other groups and organisations have also offered financial help.

Most of the legal costs of the case are being met by the London-based Media Legal Defence Initiative.

In Thailand, a group of more than 10 lawyers have teamed up to provide legal counsel. They include the Human Rights Lawyers' Association, iLaw and SR Law.

Comments

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A small but very possitive step in the right direction. How about a giant leap in the right directipn and have the navy drop all charges again the PW journalistists. The big bang would be to work with PW like in the past, to right the wrongs.

Posted by Graham M on January 16, 2015 18:03

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Dear Editor

This is a very positive and welcome development!

Ian Yarwood
Solicitor - Perth, Western Australia

Posted by Ian Yarwood on January 16, 2015 18:21

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These are positive developments. Let's hope the Navy will keep actIng with reason and common sense... This story should end loke a storm in a glass of water end be solved by itself. Alan enjoy your family visit.... and Hello to your dad....

Posted by phuketgreed on January 16, 2015 18:46

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Miracles happens! Congratulations!!

Posted by Sue on January 17, 2015 00:29

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The Royal Thai navy is bigger then its single members. The new vice general is from this century. Professional behavior, not peculiar decisions.

Posted by Lena on January 17, 2015 05:15

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chutima happy for you and alan. keep going forward unity is strength

Posted by bondi on January 18, 2015 07:15


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