Thai police instructed to stop revealing nationalities of foreign suspects
The Royal Thai Police (RTP) has instructed all law-enforcement authorities to stop revealing the nationalities of suspects for fear that sensationalist reports will hurt international ties.
RTP spokesman Pol General Roi Ingkhapairoj issued an urgent order via police radio on Saturday, calling on all nine provincial bureaus to ensure the nationalities of suspects are no longer revealed to the media.
The police general said the way police officers announced cases involving foreigners to the press has affected Thailand’s ties with countries the suspects come from.
Hence, Roi said, from now on, investigators will only be allowed to provide details of cases without revealing nationalities.
This order only applies to cases that have not been tried and resolved in court, he said.
He added that police investigators should always be accompanied by spokespersons or officers assigned with the job of dealing with media when giving interviews.
Sources say that Roi issued the order after ambassadors from several countries filed complaints saying that police interviews resulted in lurid media reports, which gave people the wrong idea of their countries.
The envoys pointed out that they always cooperated with Thai police, yet the media sensationalised reports, which hurt their countries’ reputations.