MEDIA
09/02/2015 07:03 pm ET Updated Jan 12, 2017

Documentary 'The Wan Trial' Goes Inside Thailand's Latest Attack On The Press

Two journalists charged with criminal defamation by the Thai government tell their side of the story.

Since 2009, journalists Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian have reported on the plight of Rohingya refugees who have fled discrimination and violence in their native Myanmar only to become victims of human trafficking while seeking refuge in Thailand.

In 2013, after republishing a Reuters story about Muslim Rohingya refugees in Thailand at the Thai news website Phuketwan, Morison, an editor at the website, and Sidasathian, a reporter there, were arrested and charged with criminal defamation and computer crimes. Press freedom in Thailand went into a significant decline in 2013, when a court ruling upheld a defamation law in the country, according to the nongovernmental organization Freedom House. The law allowed the state to crack down on dissent against the government and the military establishment.

Journalists Giulia Valentina Paolini and Bruno Pitzalis, who operate the site DIÒSCURI, traveled to Thailand in July to discuss how the journalists were coping with the pressures of the charges. In a short documentary, "The Wan Trial," Paolini and Pitzalis speak to Morison and Sidasathian about their fears and anxieties surrounding the case, and about the state of press freedom in Thailand.

A Thai court acquitted Morison and Sidasathian Tuesday of all charges brought against them. But journalists in the the country continue to live under the pressure of government censorship.

Watch the full DIÒSCURI film "The Wan Trial" below:

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