November 16, 2021 (The New Atlas) – Reuters has been caught publishing photos depicting Thai protests that are confirmed to have been staged.
On Sunday November 14, 2021 after a pivotal Thai Constitutional Court ruling found US-backed protest leaders were pursuing a campaign of sedition rather than reform, a “large” protest was called.
The protest failed to attract even 1,000 people in the Thai capital of Bangkok – a city of over 10 million people. In order to attract attention and make headlines internationally protesters engaged in violence with the police, throwing deadly explosives at retreating officers who responded with rubber bullets.
Several protesters were injured in the short exchange before police officers disappeared behind the gates of a police hospital compound. It was then that Reuters and other media organizations surrounded a group of protest “guards” who were laying on the ground pretending to take cover from “gunfire” that was not taking place.
Among those publishing images of this staged scene later in the week was “Pulitzer Prize winner” Reuters photographer Soe Zeya Tun.
In the published Reuters photo it is clear that others – who would clearly be in the line-of-fire were police still shooting – are standing casually. Video footage of the scene makes it even clearer the scene was completely staged.
Soe Zeya Tun and Reuters have refused to respond to widespread criticism for using images of a staged event to depict actual events unfolding in Thailand. As of the time of publishing, the pictures have not been retracted.