[Philippines] NUJP launches Ampatuan, Maguindanao Massacre 10th anniversary campaign

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) has launched its digital campaign commemorating the upcoming 10th anniversary of the 23 November 2009 Ampatuan, Maguindanao massacre, which claimed the lives of 58 persons, 32 of them media workers.

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The two reporters, Hun Sokha and Keo Rattana, the publishers of Facebook-based CPNTV and TN TV Online. Photo by VOD/CCIM.

[Cambodia] Reporters arrested over live broadcast of land protest

Two reporters have been arrested for incitement alongside five others detained at a land protest in Preah Sihanouk province.

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[Philippines] CMFR Statement on ‘Anti-False Content Act:’ Dangerous and Unnecessary

If passed into law, Senate Bill Number 9, the “Anti-False Content Act” would not only abridge free expression and press freedom that is protected by Article III Section 4 of the Constitution. As law, it will further lower the bar of democratic discourse by limiting the online discussion of public issues to subjects considered safe and the expression of views and opinions to those approved by government.

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[Cambodia] Three years and still no effective investigation into Dr. Kem Ley’s killing

Kem Ley’s killing remains an alarming reminder of Cambodia’s culture of impunity in cases of apparent enforced disappearances, killings and other forms of physical and legal harassment of human rights defenders, labour leaders, monks, journalists, members of the political opposition and other individuals critical of the ruling regime since the 1991 Paris Peace Accords. Kem Ley’s death also occurred in the midst of a crackdown on dissent, and rising restrictions on independent and critical media.

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Photo from VOD.

[Cambodia] Fixer-translator sentenced to two years for role in documentary on child prostitution

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced a local fixer and translator to two years in prison and ordered him to pay about USD 17,500 in damages on 26 June 2019 for his participation in the making of a documentary about the sex trafficking of minors in Cambodia.

Rath Rott Mony worked for the Russian state-owned RT news channel’s documentary, “My Mother Sold Me,” which aired in October 2018. It tackled the stories of three young girls who were sold by their mothers into prostitution.

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[Thailand] Expert panel looks back on 2019 elections, rues ‘unfair’ and undemocratic process

The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) found the 2019 Thai General Election lacking the most important element that makes elections democratic: a healthy political climate. Although the election was peaceful and without obstruction, its legitimacy is questionable, said executive director Chandanie Watawala on 21 June 2019.

In part, this was because the Thai people were denied access to information that is so vital in any electoral process. 

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[Myanmar] Study reveals Facebook users go beyond social networking   

It is often said that Facebook is synonymous with the internet in Myanmar. Yet this oversimplification does not take into account what people make of the digital world, Myanmar-based innovation lab Phandeeyar reported in its newly released study.

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Photo by Defend the Defenders.

[Vietnam] Court sentences activist to 6 years in prison for Facebook posts

For Facebook posts on environment and democracy, Vietnamese activist Nguyen Ngoc Anh was sentenced to six years imprisonment today, 06 June 2019. The decision was handed down by the People’s Court of Ben Tre province during the one-day trial.

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[Cambodia] JOINT STATEMENT: CSOs express serious concern and call for a stop to the ongoing judicial harassment of former Cambodia National Rescue Party members

We, the undersigned civil society groups, express serious concern regarding the recent and ongoing judicial harassment of former Cambodia National Rescue Party (“CNRP”) elected officials and members through baseless arrests, summonses, and detentions across multiple provinces. We urge the Royal Government of Cambodia to immediately cease the harassment of members of the political opposition and instead take concrete measures to restore civic space and enable all individuals to exercise their rights to free expression, association, assembly and political participation.

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Source: IDN Times

[Indonesia] Women journalists’ group condemns violence against media

Forum Jurnalis Perempuan Indonesia (FJPI, Women Journalists Forum of Indonesia) condemns the violence that was committed against journalists covering the street protests in Jakarta on 22 May 2019. At least seven journalists covering the demonstration were physically attacked or threatened during their coverage of the incident. Two of them were women journalists — Intan Bedisa and Rahajeng Mutiara — who suffered physical and verbal assaults, said FJPI.

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[Indonesia] Call for Probe into Violence against Journalists at the May 22 Post-Election Protests

AJI Jakarta and the Press Legal Aid Institute (LBH Pers) strongly condemn the assault on journalists as well as attempts to impede them in their work by both the police and protesters.

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Photo by Maung Saungkha.

[Myanmar] Release of Wa Lone, Kyaw Soe Oo a rare triumph of justice — SEAPA

The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) hails the release of convicted Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were charged under the 1923 Official Secrets Act.

They were among the 6,520 prisoners pardoned by President Win Myint on Tuesday, 7 May. The two courageous journalists were in a Insein jail for 511 days.

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[Vietnam] Open Letter to Facebook: Don’t Give in to Censorship

With over 64 million Facebook users and not a single independent newspaper in Vietnam, Facebook is where Vietnamese go “to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.” On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, we urge Facebook to abide by this aspiration of its mission statement.

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[Philippines] The State of Media, under Duterte

IN the last 34 months under President Rodrigo R. Duterte, cases and incidents of attacks and threats on the Philippine media continue relentlessly, with hardly any major efforts at investigation or solution by responsible state agencies.To mark World Press Freedom Day on Wednesday, May 3, the “Freedom for Media, Freedom for All Network” released its third semestral report on The State of Philippine Media under the Duterte Administration.

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[Philippines] The President and the Press: A Timeline of Hostilities Against the Media

BY ALL indications, President Rodrigo R. Duterte has no love lost for independent and critical media.

In about two dozen times in his 34 months in office, he has openly expressed his displeasure and disaffection, and in rancorous prose called journalists names and foisted threats both veiled and naked against certain media agencies.

In his own words, here’s a timeline of the things that President Duterte has said about the press.

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[Philippines] Just the Facts: Foreign Funding Isn’t the Problem

Sheila Coronel, also one of the founders of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) and former board member of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA), disputes Roberto Tiglao’s arguments and persistent attacks in the following essay.

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[Regional] Stand in Solidarity with the Media Community

May 3 is World Press Freedom Day. Stakeholders — youth, women, indigenous peoples, LGBTQI+, lawyers, and governments — share their thoughts on “Why is the media important? Why should the media be free?”

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