Thailand to try journalist for carrying flak jacket, helmet

Hong Kong, Oct 12 (IANS) A Hong Kong photographer-journalist detained for carrying a bullet proof jacket and helmet in Thailand will face trial after pleading not guilty to a weapons possession charge on Monday, the media reported.

The case has sparked outcry from media saying journalists should not be punished for carrying body armour and protective gear in and out of dangerous zones, Xinhua news agency reported.

Anthony Kwan was held on August 23 after trying to depart from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport with a flak jacket and helmet in his hand luggage.

Both items are classified as weapons under Thai law and Kwan was charged with breaching the country’s Arms Control Act.

He was in Thailand to cover the aftermath of August 16 Bangkok bombing.

“I’m not confessing… I do not think a flak jacket is a weapon and I definitely did not know it was illegal here,” Kwan told reporters.

His plea means he will face a trial starting next month. The court granted Kwan bail.

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