Thai police have arrested two CNN reporters who were filming after the massacre at the nursery school. The journalists allegedly entered without permission when they were covering the drama that killed 37 people on Thursday, including 24 children.
A Thai reporter posted on social media a picture of CNN reporters leaving nursery school and climbing up a wall, a fence and police tape. Local authorities launched an investigation. “Let the legal process run its course, I don’t want to reveal all the details,” city spokesman Danichuk Bonsum said. “Let the police investigate.”
The Thai Journalists Association describes the behavior of CNN reporters as “immoral” and “insensitive”. The Foreign Correspondents Association of Thailand (FCCT) is also “shocked”. “This was unprofessional and a serious violation of journalistic ethics in covering the crimes,” the association said.
CNN denied in a statement on Twitter that the reporters acted illegally. According to the news channel, they did not enter the building until after the police barrier was lifted. Three officials would have told them they could shoot inside.
“The team collected footage in the nursery for 15 minutes and then left,” CNN wrote in a tweet. “By that time the barrier had been put back in place, so the team had to climb over the fence to leave.”
Mike McCarthy, director of CNN International, later added that reporters only now understand that the three officials are not authorized to give consent. “It was never their intention to break any rules.” CNN promptly removed the report from the site. The station apologizes for the suffering caused by the act.
Tourist visas for journalists have been cancelled. According to a police spokesperson, they will remain in detention until they are deported. He acknowledges that there may have been a misunderstanding. The two could only get off with a fine, because they worked on a tourist visa.
In Thursday’s attack, a recently dismissed former policeman killed 36 people, including 24 children, and then killed himself.
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