On 18 February 2019, a district court from Dawei Township, Tanintharyi division announced its verdict on Thanitharyi Journal. The court decision states that the local paper has violated Article 25 (b) of the 2014 Media Law by publishing a satirical story, therefore, was sentenced to six-month imprisonment or fined 500,000 kyats (about USD 450). We, the media community in Myanmar, condemn this verdict as it restricts media freedom and the rights of media outlets.Read more
Three Cambodian reporters were detained overnight on Wednesday, 13 February 2019 by police in Kandal province’s Ang Snuol district for allegedly interrupting the business operations and extorting money from the owner of a mining pit and trucks in the area.
They denied the charges and were released the following day. According to the police, the two parties reached a settlement, resulting in the dismissal of the complaint. It was not known if a sum was paid as part of the settlement.Read more
More than 7,000 survivors of the disastrous collapse of the hydropower dam in southern Laos’ Sanamxay district have been struggling to survive for nearly seven months.Read more
Six months after the collapse of the Xe Pian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam in southern Laos triggered floods that swept them from their homes, survivors are now suffering from dengue fever and malnutrition.
Those health challenges come despite firm agreements between local and international health agencies to work together to prevent disease and otherwise attend to the needs of the displaced.Read more
Fears linger about lost livelihoods as new villages may not be suitable for agricultureRead more
Flash floods following the collapse of the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy dam in southern Laos washed away the homes, families, hope and dreams of dozens of villagers living downstream. This is one of their stories.Read more
Researchers in a Brazil-based study in a tobacco-growing community pointed out that women are primary study subjects on the health and environmental impacts of tobacco production because of “their role in tobacco production, combined with their essential role in caring for the family, especially related to health.’’Read more
Done in 2016, three years after tobacco’s commercial cultivation began here, the study, which profiled women farmers, including the knowledge, perceptions and practices of women working in tobacco farms in Claveria. Among its findings is that 90 percent of the women workers were aware of the health impacts of cultivating the plant.Read more
The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) welcomes the decision of the Thai court allowing Voice TV to resume its broadcast operations after initially being suspended for 15 days.
The Central Administrative Court handed down the decision on Friday, 15 February 2019, effectively lifting the temporary ban imposed by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) on the digital TV broadcaster on 12 February 2019.Read more
Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) condemns this step of National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission and termed it an attack on media freedom. PPF also urge the authorities and media regulator to lift the order of suspending broadcasts of Voice TV.Read more
Some of the press freedom- and free expression-related events and issues you might have missed last weekRead more
The news website, and its journalists, do not deserve to be persecuted. On the contrary, they must be lauded and allowed an enabling environment in which to carry out their work.
We call for all charges leveled against Maria Ressa and Rappler to be dropped, and call on President Rodrigo Duterte to restore genuine press freedom in the Philippines.Read more
“Journalism is not a crime. Countries that uphold democracy do not suppress freedom of the press.”Read more
Since 2010, a construction boom in Myanmar has fueled a sharp increase in the extraction of sand from the Ayeyarwady that is then used in cement and asphalt. Environmental groups say this dredging is destabilizing the river and placing stress on the Ayeyarwady Delta, the country’s main rice producing region. Experts warn that the rate of sand mining in the Ayeyarwady has already reached an unsustainable level and is projected to increase as development continues.Read more
The farmers continue to use insecticides whose active ingredients, Gold Star Daily has learned, are listed as hazardous by World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) International. PAN uses the definition of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of hazardous pesticides as “those linked with a high incidence of severe or irreversible adverse effects on human health or the environment.”Read more
Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa posted bail today, 14 February 2019, at Branch 46 of the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) in connection with a cyber libel charge over an article the online news site published in 2012.Read more
Based on these new developments in the Philippines, AJI stated:
1. Condemning the arrest of Maria Ressa. This arrest was none other than an attempt to silence journalists and media who were critical to the government.
2. Expressing solidarity and support for Maria Ressa, Rappler and our colleagues in the Philippines, The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).
3. Urging the Philippine government to respect democracy, protect the freedom of the press by stopping all kinds of intimidation and drop all charges against Maria Ressa.Read more
We call on the press and media community to condemn this outrage and to stand with Rappler. An attack on the freedom of one journalist or one news organization weakens the capacity of the entire institution to report the truth and is an attack on all of us and on democracy itself.Read more
Even as we are certain they will hold the line, we stand with Maria and our colleagues at Rappler and urge all colleagues who value the work we do and the independence essential to it to circle the wagons and resist this blatant assault on our right and liberties.
We call on all freedom-loving Filipinos to stand with the independent Philippine press in defense of the rights not only of media but of the people. For in suppressing the press it is the people’s right to know that is trampled on.Read more
Journalist Maria Ressa was arrested Wednesday, 13 February 2019, for online libel by officers of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) at Rappler’s office, in Pasig City.
We will “cooperate with the authorities and try to post bail tonight,” Ressa said during the brief press conference held at Rappler’s office immediately after the arrest warrant was served.Read more