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Local newspaper editor gunned down, fourth journalist murdered this year

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders is outraged by the murder of Wallop Bounsampop, editor-in-chief of "Den Siam", a local newspaper based in Chonburi province (south of Bangkok), on 5 October 2008. The motive is not yet known but some of his articles on local politics had earned him enemies. He is the fourth journalist to be murdered in Thailand since the start of the year.

"We are seeing an unprecedented wave of murders of journalists in Thailand and we call on the police and judicial authorities to give themselves the means to deal with it," Reporters Without Borders said. "If no real progress is made in solving these four cases, more journalists are likely to be killed at a time when Thailand is still embroiled in a political crisis."

Wallop, 52, was helping his wife in a restaurant in his village when two men on a motorcycle fired five shots at him, hitting him twice in the head and killing him instantly.

Wallop's murder could be linked to his articles on local politics, which had caused controversy. He was an active member of his district council and he had criticised some of his opponents in articles about local elections due to take place next month.

Meanwhile, Somsak Phusrisak, governor of the central province of Suphanburi, where "Matichon" correspondent Jaruek Rangcharoen was gunned down on 27 September, has reported that the police are on the verge of arresting the leading suspect in that murder, thanks to a facial composite drawn with the help of witnesses.

For further information on the Rangcharoen case, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/97337

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