In memory of Athiwat Chainurat


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Many of you will be unfamiliar with the name Athiwat Chainurat. I had never heard of him until recently. Khun Athiwat was a reporter for the Matichon newspaper. He was 48 years old. He had a wife and two children – and he was shot dead on August 1.

Members of the media, especially in Nakhon Sri Thammarat, where Khun Athiwat worked, have been understandably shaken by this killing. Khun Athiwat was found dead in the kitchen of his house.

Rumors have been churning. His wife, Khun Pornpimol, said that her husband had clashed with a number of politicians because of stories he had written. Khun Pornpimol was a reporter who apparently never took the same route home twice.

Even the police believe that the killing is related to news reports written by Khun Athiwat. Whether this is a warning shot aimed squarely at investigative journalists in Thailand remains to be seen. At this stage we simply do not know why Khun Athiwat was killed, but he was shot dead, in what looks to be an organised hit.

There were no items reported missing from the home, which suggests robbery was not the motive for the killing. Somebody wanted this guy dead. He was shot four times.

I don’t want to jump to conclusions here – I know nothing of Khun Athiwat’s work – but he was a member of the media and he is dead. It’s a sad story no matter which was you look at it.

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