Journalist, photographer arrested for reporting on political graffiti

Description

On 12 February 2024, Thai police apprehended Nuttaphol “Pe” Meksobhon, a journalist from Prachatai news agency, and Nattaphon “Ya” Phanphongsanon, a freelance photographer, under an outstanding arrest warrant that charged them with a criminal offense in connection to their news coverage of an incident in March 2022, when an activist sprayed a graffiti bearing political slogans on the wall of the Grand Palace.

For their role in the news coverage, the police have filed a charge of “aiding” the vandalism of a historic site against Nuttaphol and Nattaphon, an offense that carries a maximum penalty of 7 years in prison. Both men have denied the allegation and insisted that they were merely performing their journalistic duties.

Nuttaphol, the reporter from Prachatai, also said he was not aware that the police had opened a criminal investigation against him, and police officials had neither informed him of the charge nor summoned him for questioning prior to the arrest. The two media workers were subsequently denied a bail release by the police in charge of the investigation, forcing them to spend a night in a police station jail.

Information
Number of attacked persons or entities related to media
2
Do they work as freelance or media?
Yes
Position in media
Status of journalists
Gender
Male
Age
Country
Bangkok
Full name or name of group
Identified
The name of perpetrator (individual/group)
Royal Thai Police
Gender
Attack mention about gender background/sexual wording?
No
Date of incident
Type of incident
Criminal lawsuit/charge: Other charge