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The first article mentioned in praise of Reuters on the pulitzer.org site is the one that contains the paragraph over which Phuketwan has been sued

Reuters Journalists Win Rohingya Pulitzer: Phuket Pair Face Seven Years' Jail

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Countdown to World Media Freedom Day: Day 11

PHUKET: The Reuters news agency has won a Pulitzer prize for its reporting of the Rohingya persecution, the Columbia University judging panel announced yesterday.

The board commended Jason Szep and Andrew Marshall for their ''courageous reports'' on the Rohingya, who in their efforts to flee from Burma, ''often falls victim to predatory human-trafficking networks.''

Announcement of the prestigious award comes at a fascinating point in a landmark legal case that emphasises both the treatment of the Rohingya boatpeople and the lack of freedom of the media in Thailand.

Phuketwan journalists Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian are due to appear in court on Phuket on Thursday to face charges that could bring them up to seven years in jail - for republishing one paragraph word-for-word from a Reuters special report on the Rohingya boatpeople.

The action, employing Thailand's harsh criminal defamation laws and the odious Computer Crimes Act, has been condemned by international rights organisations and is now being investigated by Thailand's Human Rights Commission.

The authors of the original Reuters report have not been charged, nor has Reuters spoken out in defence of the two Phuketwan journalists. Other Thai media outlets that republished the same paragraph have also not been charged.

''Congratulations to Reuters,'' Morison, who edits Phuketwan, said today. ''Jason Szep and Andrew Marshall have worked very hard recently to bring to the wider world the tragedy of the Rohingya that Phuketwan has been consistently reporting since 2008.''

Stephen Adler, Reuters Editor-in-Chief, said in a statement he was ''immensely proud'' of the ''high-impact series.''

''For two years, Reuters reporters have tirelessly investigated terrible human-rights abuses in a forgotten corner of the Muslim world, bringing the international dimensions of the oppressed Rohingya of Myanmar (Burma) to global attention,'' he said.

''What we were writing about was under-reported,'' Szep said from Washington. ''I hope through this, there is greater international attention of the risks and presence of religious violence in Myanmar.''

The judges praised the entire Reuters coverage but focussed especially on one article, published on December 4, headlined: Special Report - Thailand secretly dumps Myanmar refugees into trafficking rings.

Additional reporting came from Jutaret Skulpichetrat and Amy Sawitta Lefevre in Bangkok, and Stuart Grudgings in Kuala Lumpur.

The authors of the earlier special report over which the Phuketwan journalists face jail were Jason Szep and Stuart Grudgings.

One Royal Thai Navy officer, Captain Panlob Komtonlok, made the accusation in July last year that the Reuters paragraph republished by Phuketwan damaged the reputation of the entire force, which has about 60,000 serving members.

The captain's law suit was approved by Assistant Commander Admiral Polawat Sirodom and papers were served on the Phuketwan journalists in December.

Phuket's public prosecutor, Wiwat Kijjaruk told CNN Friday there was enough evidence to proceed with the case.''Even though the two said that they just republished an article from Reuters . . . they should have checked the facts before doing so,'' he said.

CNN could not reach the Thai navy for comment.

A spokesperson for Reuters told CNN: ''We wish to emphasize that Reuters' story does not single out the Thai Royal Navy, but explores the responsibility of all involved in patrolling the Thai seas and provides their perspectives.''

CNN Reports the Phuketwan Case

UN condemns Thai court case against journalists over people trafficking report
http://edition.cnn.com/2014/04/14/world/asia/thailand-phuketwan-media-defamation-court//

Phuketwan is taking part in a global 30-day countdown to the 30th anniversary of World Media Freedom Day on May 3. Attention focuses on jailed journalist Peter Greste and his Aljazeera colleagues in Egypt.

Comments

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Congrats to Reuters. Hoping that Phuketwan's prize on Apr 17 will be all charges dropped or a "not guilty" verdict, then you can continue with your work!

Posted by Lana on April 15, 2014 08:46

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Thailand: Fleeing Rohingya Shot in Sea by Navy..Human Rights watch web site...March 13 2013.

Posted by david on April 15, 2014 09:06

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Guess the Thai Navy has never heard of the "Streisand effect"?

Posted by david on April 15, 2014 10:01

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Completely biased reporting against buddhists of myanmar, and ignoring islamic violence that recently killed 300 people in one week in nigeria

Posted by Ming on April 15, 2014 12:44

Editor Comment:

I guess you will be telling the media in Nigera the same thing, right? That's Africa, Ming, this is Asia. We condemn all violence, wherever it occurs, but some has greater relevance for our readers.

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Reuters winning the Pulitzer, great. But they do nothing to help the local journalists of Phuketwan against a lawsuit originating from their report.

These same journalists, who unearthed the Rohingya issue, who did the first digging, bringing the story to light in which now the Reuters cool kids shine.

Happy celebrations you don't-give-a-$h&t press people from Reuters. This pulitzer shall stink on you.

Posted by Lena on April 15, 2014 21:19

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Stephen Adler,Reuters Editor in chief, needs to step up and say something about the pending court issue at Phuketwan, like a TEAM PLAYER would. He missed the boat by not doing it at the time of the Pulitzer prize announcement. Let's see if it is important enough for him to speak publicly to support Chutima and Alan, else Lena may be correct in her assessment.

Posted by Dean on April 16, 2014 06:26

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We are very proud of our colleagues of Reuters Jason Szep and Andrew Marshall for their ''courageous reports'' on the Rohingya, who in their efforts to flee from Burma, ''often falls victim to predatory human-trafficking networks.''Congratulations for winning Rohingya Pulitzer Prize. In my opinion ,the prize is also co deserved Phuketwan journalists Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian are due to appear in court on Phuket on Thursday to face charges that could bring them up to seven years in jail - for republishing one paragraph word-for-word from a Reuters special report on the Rohingya boat people. This is true that Alan Morison did sell his house in Australia and spent whole money for the cause Rohingya boat people' news. I have been physically witnessing of risky field works of Phuketwan since Rohingya boat people have started voyage to Thailand . I recalled of last Christmas holiday where Chutima was with us at the Press conference at Thai Journalist Association in Bangkok and Alan was visiting at the side of remote areas in the south where a boatload of Rohingya were detained by the police. The Phuketwan journalists had no holidays and worked hard for Rohingyas. The Reuters should not be silence of Phuketwan journalists' trail and freedom of press. We do hope that the Phuketwan journalists will be honored by the world for their precious sacrifice for the humanity . The world must come forwards and stand by honorable journalists of PW. We wish their success !

Posted by Maung Kyaw Nu,Burmese Rohingya Association in Thailand ,BRAT. on April 16, 2014 13:43


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