In a statement Wednesday Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha said the government would “probably just execute” journalists who did not walk a fine line in reporting.
“You don’t have to support the government, but you should report the truth,” he said.
The former army chief, who heads the country’s National Council on Peace and Order, overthrew the government last May. Thailand’s current military government has placed heavy restrictions on the media since taking power. Restrictions include placing soldiers at TV stations, blocking social media critical of the government and requiring that TV and radio stations broadcast army material, according to Circa.
Thailand ranks 134 out 180 countries on the 2015 World Press Freedom Index.
In another report released Tuesday London-based nonprofit Article 19 reported that attacks on journalists in Mexico have increased by 80 percent in two years.
Under former President Felipe Calderon, in power from 2006 to 2012, there were 182 threats and attacks toward journalists a year. That average number has spiked to 328 a year in the last two years under Enrique Pena Nieto’s administration, said the group. Attacks have included nearly 142 cases of physical aggression.
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The Committee to Protect Journalists reports 29 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 1992. Mexico ranks 148 on the Index, 14 spots lower than Thailand.
According to the Index the overall violations of freedom of information globally has risen about 8 percent since 2014; nearly 10 percent since 2013.
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The Index cites an increase in conflicts in 2014 as a reason for the decline in freedoms and increase in censorship and violence against reporters.
The United States ranks in the middle of the index at 49. The country ranked 32 on the list in 2013, just two years ago.
At the very top of the index is Finland, which has ranked first place on the list for five consecutive years.