Matichon, Channel 7
August 1, 2008, in Chaiyamontri, Thailand

A reporter with the Thai-language daily newspaper Matichon and a stringer for the army-owned television station Channel 7, Athiwat was found dead in his home in the town of Chaiyamontri in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Police investigators quoted in the local media said the reporter was shot twice, in the back and in the head, and that his murder took place while he was cooking in his kitchen at home at around 8 p.m.

Matichon News Editor Kaweesak Bhutton told CPJ that the newspaper considered the slaying to be work-related. Athiwat had told Kaweesak that influential officials in Nakhon Si Thammarat province were "dissatisfied" with his reporting on local corruption issues. In the weeks leading up to the slaying, safety concerns had led Athiwat to avoid leaving the house except for reporting assignments, Kaweesak said.

The Thai Journalists Association, a local press freedom group, also said in a statement that Athiwat's murder was likely related to his recent reporting.

Athiwat's wife and son were not home at the time of the killing, local news reports said. Nakhon Si Thammarat is known for drug trafficking and a high crime rate. Apart from the insurgent-hit areas in Thailand's southernmost provinces, it has one of the highest murder rates per capita in the country.

Medium:Print, Television
Job:Broadcast Reporter, Print Reporter
Beats Covered:Corruption
Local or Foreign:Local
Type of Death:Murder
Suspected Source of Fire:Government Officials
Taken Captive:No


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