BANGKOK: Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday (Aug 9) revoked his order to ban the dissemination of information that could frighten the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The announcement, published in the Royal Gazette on Tuesday, cited a civil court order to temporarily restrain the enforcement of his order and concluded that it was revoked on Aug 9.
Gen Prayut initially imposed a regulation on Jul 29 to prohibit the dissemination of news or content that could frighten the public or distort information and as a result, cause misunderstanding during the period of emergency and affect the national security, peace and order.
In case of violation of the regulation, the Thai prime minister authorised the Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) to notify Internet service providers so that they could block the content in question. NBTC was also required to inform police for legal action.
The regulation drew strong criticisms from rights activists and journalists in Thailand. On Aug 2, a group of media representatives and human rights lawyers filed a petition to the civil court against the prime minister, seeking the revocation of Gen Prayut’s order.