Thai police are investigating CNN crew’s coverage of the attack

UTHAI SAWAN – Thai police are investigating a report that a CNN crew inappropriately entered the daycare center while covering it aftermath of the massacre in the building where more than 20 preschool children died, authorities said on Sunday.

Danaichok Boonsom, head of the local municipal government, told reporters that he had submitted his report alleging trespassing on state property and that the police were investigating.

“Let the court case take its course, I don’t want to give all the details,” he said as he exited the Na Klang District Police Station in northeast Thailand. “Let the police do their investigative work.”

Authorities began investigating the incident after a Thai reporter posted on social media an image of two crew members exiting the scene, with one climbing over the low wall and fence surrounding the site, over police tape and the other already was outside.

CNN tweeted that the crew had entered the premises when the police cordon had been removed from the center and were told they could film inside by three public health officers exiting the building.

“The team collected footage at the center for about 15 minutes and then left,” CNN said in its tweet. “By that time the barrier had been put back in place so the team had to climb over the fence in the middle to leave.”

The tweet came up in response Criticism of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailandthat said it was “dismayed” by CNN’s coverage and the decision to film the crime scene inside.

“This was unprofessional and a serious breach of journalistic ethics in reporting crimes,” the FCCT said.

The Thai Journalists’ Association has criticized CNN’s actions as “unethical” and “insensitive” and called for an internal company investigation into the incident alongside the official Thai investigation.

Deputy National Police Chief Surachate Hakparn said the two journalists entered Thailand on tourist visas, which have now been revoked. He said they were being held pending deportation from the country but declined to give further details.

In Thursday’s attack, police said 36 people, 24 of them children, were killed by a former police officer who was fired earlier this year on drug charges and was on trial Friday.

As Thailand’s worst such massacre ever The attack drew international media attention to the small town of Uthai Sawan in the country’s rural north-east. Few remained as of Sunday, but a large number of Thai media continued to cover the scene.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission. Thai police are investigating CNN crew’s coverage of the attack

Sarah Y. Kim

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