Thai media restrictions raise freedom of expression concerns

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BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand implemented have new regulations that appear to broaden the government’s ability to restrict media reports and social media posts about the coronavirus pandemic, raising immediate concerns that authorities will seek to stifle criticism. While Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has long sought to crack down on what he calls fake news and has a government department devoted to it, the new regulations include the ability to prosecute people for distributing “news that may cause public fear.” The measures come as Thailand is struggling amid a new wave of the coronavirus pandemic fueled by the delta variant, with rising numbers of cases and deaths.

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