Bangkok, January 21, 2011–The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned about the charges and threatened deportation of Thailand-based freelance photojournalists John Sanlin, a Burmese passport holder, and Pascal Schatterman, a Belgian national.
“We call on Thai authorities to reconsider the deportation of journalists John Sanlin and Pascal Schatterman and take into consideration the prospect that Sanlin will suffer severe reprisals if he is forcibly returned to Burma,” said Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative. “Thailand has long been a safe haven for exiled journalists to report freely on Burma. CPJ encourages the Thai government to maintain that important press freedom role for the region.”
Both reporters were arrested by Thai authorities at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday in the Thai border town of Mae Sot after re-entering the country from Burma, where they were covering the escalating armed conflict between Burmese government troops and ethnic Karen insurgents.