Hok Chun Anthony Kwan, who was assigned by Initium Media Technology to cover the aftermath of last week’s bombing in central Bangkok left 20 people dead and more than 120 injured, was stopped at the Thai capital’s international airport on Sunday as he was boarding a flight to Hong Kong. He is being charged with possessing an illegal weapon, which carries a prison sentence of up to five years.
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand has expressed dismay at the detention of a Hong Kong journalist for carrying body armor and a helmet.
“Body armor and helmets used by journalists are not offensive weapons and should not be treated as such,” the FCCT said in a statement Monday. Bullet proof jackets are considered military equipment in Thailand, whose laws prohibit their possession without a license. However, the law is almost never enforced and journalists have openly worn body army during recent political turmoil in the country.