Assistant national police chief Pol Lt Gen Jaruwat Waisaya yesterday warned the media not to spread “misinformation” about the ongoing student-led pro-democracy protests.

Referring to Thursday’s Declaration of a Serious Emergency Situation in Bangkok, which prohibits reporters from publishing news which might cause fear or untruths on the political crisis, the senior officer said authorised officials could seize equipment that violated the law.

“We would like to come to an understanding with the media on the reporting of the current situation,” said Pol Lt Gen Jaruwat.

“Facts can be reported, but news reporting which might lead to violence or mobilise people to join the rallies could be illegal.”

For example, declaring that “there is violence now” when in fact there was no violence could spread fear and would not be tolerated.

“News reports calling on the people to join [political] rallies including using pictures and news reports to rerun and incite [unrest], this is not allowed,” he said.

Pol Lt Gen Jaruwat said, however, that reporting precisely what time protesters would arrive at venues was allowed.

The extent to which journalists had broken the law, as well as how much they intended to do so, would be considered by police in deciding whether to prosecute them, he said.

He also warned the media to be extra cautious in their use of live streaming and to remember to carry their journalist ID cards issued by their media company or public relations department.

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