Thailand’s military dictatorship, which celebrated its first year in power on May 22, has been quick to stamp out dissent. Hundreds of protesters and vocal critics of the regime have been arrested in the past year while local media has become increasingly censored and self-censored. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the army chief when he came to power, has long had an icy relationship with the media.
On repeated occasions, Prayuth has lashed out against the media and threatened to shut down critical outlets, while earlier this year he said that he would probably “just execute” journalists that “did not report the truth”. While he later wrote it off as a joke, in an interview with Al Jazeera he insisted that: “The media needs to be reformed. I have to advise them. I have to tell them what they can and what they cannot do.”