2007 Fellowship: Human Rights versus a culture of impunity in Southeast Asia

fc2008In 2007, Cambodia will underscore the importance of the need for justice, of the imperative to confront human rights violations, when the Khmer Rouge Tribunal (KRT) is finally convened and allowed to play its part in (hopefully) bringing closure and healing to a nation. All throughout the rest of Southeast Asia, meanwhile, each nation finds that confronting rights abuses with justice, and fighting a culture of impunity itself, is vital to true human and national development.

Whether its theme reminds about the massacre of East Timorese under Indonesian rule, the disappearance of human rights workers in Thailand, the arrest and killing of student activists in Burma, or the unabated killing of journalists in the Philippines, the 2007 Journalism Fellowship Program will as always be a rich venue for reflective journalism and discussions. It will highlight the virtues of journalism’s freedom to shed light, support justice, and establish truth as a fundamental foundation for any society seeking stability and progress.

The 2007 Fellows

2007foong_lianHah Foong Lian, a Malaysian, worked as a journalist of the Kuala Lumpur based daily The Star in 2009. She is now a doctoral candidate at University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, writing a thesis on the role of blogging in electoral politics in Malaysia.

Article: Dark side of a ‘light touch’Defeating rivals through defamation lawsuits

2007nitaNita Roshita, proudly radio journalist from Radio News Agency – KBR68H for 10 years and now managing one and only an environment radio station 89,2 FM Green Radio based in Jakarta. She achieved SEAPA Fellowship in 2007 that brought her to Pattani Thailand, covering the discrimination of Muslim education in Southern Thailand. Awarded by Independent Press Alliance – AJI Jakarta for her feature “Reclamation in North Bay of Jakarta” in 2008. A runner up for Friederich Naumann Stiftung Awards on Radio Feature (Theme: Direct Local Election) in 2006.

Article: Thai-Muslim Students Abroad Eyed with Suspicion

2007imamImam Shofwan, is an Indonesian executive director of Pantau Foundation, and a Jakarta-based journalist, writing for Pantau feature service, the Indonesian versions of Playboy and Rolling Stone magazines, Syirah online and Sinar Harapan daily. He used to be a staff writer of the Syir’ah magazine which promotes inter-religion pluralism. For a few months in 2008, he contributed himself as a volunteer editor for korbanlumpur.info, which is an information center about the survivor of Lapindo mudflow disaster.

Currently, he is managing a survey on Islam and journalists in Indonesia. It is a project assigned by the Kamal Adam Center in Cairo and sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation.

He joined SEAPA Journalism Fellowship program in 2007 and went to Dili, Viqueque, and other towns in Timor Leste to write about Human Rights and Culture of Impunity. His story from this fellowship: Truth or Consequence, appear in Malay version, titled “Dua Anak Serdadu” handed him an international media award.

Article: Truth or Consequence

2007zawZaw Naing Oo, is a Burmese freelance journalist for various international media organizations. He received an opportunity to become SEAPA’s 2007 Journalism Fellowship Program. Later 2007, he joined “Imaging Our Mekong Program”. In 2009, he received the Diploma in Journalism from Kelmer University in Sweden. And, he won Rory Peck Award in 2009 for a documentary called “Orphans of Burma Cyclone.

Article: Burmese Workers: Going from Bad to Worse


2007htar2Htar Htar Myint, a Burmese, is a radio broadcaster of Burmese Service at Radio Free Asian (RFA) in Washington DC. She used to be an editor for the Living Color Magazine and the Voice Weekly Journal in Rangoon, Burma.

Article: Shooting the Messenger


2007davidDavid Hugo da Silva, a Timorese, is an editor at East Timor National Radio since 2001. In his programs, he has covered news and feature stories on politics, crimes, sports and education issues. He produced special coverage on the investigative reporting of the corruption and mismanagement issues. He used to be a photographer for BERMANIA Studio before joining the East Timor National Radio.


2007joelJoel B. Escovilla is the associate editor of the Mindanao Times in the southern Philippines.

Articles: Needed as workers, unwanted as guestsLearning on the Run

2007josephJoseph Israel M. Laban is a senior producer at the Manila-based GMA-7 television broadcast network.

Article: The Price of PeacePerils of the press

2007mariaMaria Rita Hasugian  is a reporter of Tempo magazine in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Article: A Legacy of Blood

Jack P. Antolin is the pseudonym of a SEAPA fellow who has requested anonymity for security reasons.

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