Junta blocks YouTube channel of exiled Thai journalist

The YouTube channel of an anti-junta journalist who fled to the US after the 2014 coup d’état has been blocked from audiences in Thailand.  

On 20 April 2017, the YouTube channel ‘Jom Voice’ of Jom Petpradab, a veteran journalist now living in self-exile in the US, was found blocked.

“[This channel] cannot be watched from your country!” reads the statement on YouTube.

Last week, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society issued a ban on any online contact or interaction with three prominent critics of the regime: Andrew MacGregor Marshall, a well-known Scottish journalist previously based in Bangkok, and Thai academics Somsak Jeamteerasakul and Pavin Chachavalpongpun. All three have fled Thailand where they are accused of lèse-majesté.

Jom is a former TV journalist and programme host. After the coup in 2006, he caused an uproar among pro-establishment Thais when he flew to Hong Kong to interview controversial former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Screening of the interview was cancelled. In 2009, after a successful live interview with Thaksin, he was pressured to resign from hosting his programme.

In 2014, after he was summoned by the junta, he fled Thailand to live in the US where he founded Thaivoicemedia.com, a web-based Thai media outlet in exile. The website is also blocked by the government.

Jom (left) discussing the missing 1932 Revolution plaque with historian Siripoj Laomanacharoen