Thai police are posing as journalists

Today’s MediaWireWorld roundup of journalism news from outside the U.S. Send tips to Kristen Hare: khare@poynter.org

Thailand

Thai police are posing as journalists, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

On the sidelines of one of the protests, several plainclothes men escorted a woman to a motorcycle as she frantically called for help and asked them, “What right do you have to arrest me?” according to a video posted on the website of the Thai newspaper Matichon.

One of the men is wearing a black badge around his neck that says “PRESS” along with a green cloth that looks like an arm band issued to reporters by the Thai Journalists Association and the Thai Broadcast Journalists Association. The woman is told, “Get on the bike,” as the man leads her to a waiting motorcycle and drives off with her.

The Thai Journalists Association spoke out against the tactics, the AP reports. Manop Thip-osod, spokesman, said the tactics could have an “immense impact” on Thai journalists’ safety and credibility.

Thai police officers stand guard to prevent anti-coup demonstration at Victory Monument Monday, June 2, 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand’s main press association has voiced concern that undercover police appear to be posing as journalists after a video circulated showing a man with official press ID arresting an anti-coup protester in the capital. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)


Egypt

Al-Jazeera’s acting bureau chief Mohammed Fahmy, a Canadian-Egyptian, center, and Australian correspondent Peter Greste, center right, appear in a defendant cage along with other defendants during a trial on terrorism charges in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, May 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Ahmed Gamil)

Key witnesses for the prosecution against three Al-Jazeera English journalists held in Egypt contradicted their own testimony, Patrick Kingsley reported Sunday in The Guardian.

Journalists Mohamed Fahmy, Baher Mohamed and the Australian Peter Greste have been imprisoned in Cairo since last December on charges of endangering national security, aiding terrorists, doctoring footage, and operating without licence.

The prosecution’s case was largely based on allegations made in a report written by a committee of technical experts from Egypt’s state television network. But under cross-examination in the trial’s 10th hearing on Sunday, the committee’s three representatives said they did not know whether the journalists’ work had endangered national security, or if their equipment was unlicensed – contradicting arguments they had made in writing.

The next hearing takes place June 5. All three have been imprisoned since last December. At a hearing last month, Kingsley reported that prosecution used video to show the three journalists were guilty of terrorism by using videos of a pop song, football and sheep.

Canada

From the Toronto Sun, Mayor Rob Ford’s “postcard from rehab.” (Front page courtesy the Newseum.)

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