The Freedom of Expression Documentation Center is developed by iLaw,
a non-profit organization with an aim to create Social Reform by increasing
public participation and demand for legislative change. (Please click here for further information about iLaw)
The Documentation Center collects and keeps records of abuses made
by law or the authority regarding freedom
of expression in Thailand. We believe that the database kept here will
be one of the pathways to protect Rights and Freedom in the society.
Media freedom is an indicator used to pinpoint the quality of a country’s
socio-political condition. If a society respects freedom of opinion
and welcomes criticisms, it is likely that a strong Check and Balance
system has already been settled.
At present, controversies and ideological clashes are widespread within
Thai society. New devices and communication technologies developed allow
individuals to put forward their opinions much easier. A small community
can convey their news through the low frequency wave system which is
known as “community radio”. An ordinary person can make criticisms
and create a social impact through typing and sending information through
the electric field known as “internet”. Documentary maker or freelance/amateur
photographer do not need to be backed up by business network because
they can put their works together, broadcast onto various websites and
disseminate to wider audiences.
Not only that the technology has changed, but social conflict has
pressed people to demand more accessibility for news, information and
ways to pass on their opinions. This leads to the creation of numerous
social mechanisms that prevent such accessibility. What is clear and
is a main problem in Thai society is the creation of new laws aim to
limit personal opinion. This includes the Computer Crime Act B.E. 2550
(2007), Emergency Decree on the Public Administration in Emergency Situations
B.E. 2548 (2005), Internal Security Act B.E. 2550 (2007), Martial Law
B.E. 2457 (1914), Film and Video Act B.E. 2551 (2008), National Broadcasting
and Telecommunications Commission B.E. 2553 (2010).
At one point, Thai society used media freedom as an important index
to indicate the atmosphere of freedom of expression in the country.
Currently, the media freedom index might not be enough since freedom
of expression by individuals and communities has not yet been well addressed.
Therefore, iLaw has inspired to start a project called “Freedom
of Expression Documentation Center” to gather statistics and
detailed information related to the violation of freedom of expression.
We expect that the facts we gathered will create awareness to the society
on the issue.
The documentation center still needs your participation and support.
Please read here on how you could help us.