[Singapore] JOINT STATEMENT: Stop Defamation Probe of The Online Citizen

The heavy-handed investigation by the Singapore police of The Online Citizen (TOC) editor Terry Xu, accused of criminal defamation over an article published in September, has set the alarm bells ringing again in a country that is known for stifling independent voices. We, the undersigned, view this development with extreme concern, noting the unrelenting use of repressive policies to silence free speech.

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[Regional] SEAPA @ 20: Looking back, moving forward amid challenging times for press freedom

For a region at the crux of political changes and transitions, that question proved pivotal. It became the trigger for a collective action – the formation of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) based on a vision forged just months after the APEC meeting, at a regional gathering of Southeast Asian journalists held on 8 November 1998. Two decades later, amid the steady decline of press freedom across the region, SEAPA’s aspiration remains as relevant as ever: A region enjoying free expression and that has a truly independent press. Its mission remains as timely as when it sprang into existence: To promote and protect press freedom in Southeast Asia.

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[Regional] SEAPA turns 20

As it turns two decades old today, SEAPA remains steadfast amid the ebb and flow of democracy and freedom in the region.

While Southeast Asia’s socio-political and media landscapes have changed, a number of issues confronting the region tend to echo those of the past. Not least of these are the shrinking civic space, poor governance, and the rise of authoritarian populism. The relentless onslaught against the media, now confronted with the disruptive and polarizing impact of new technologies and the declining credibility and public trust — harks back to an era when oppressive states thought nothing of muzzling the proverbial fourth estate.

As SEAPA looks back on its beginnings, it also renews it collective commitment to defend and uphold media freedom, free speech, and the people’s right to know. Together, SEAPA, along with its members, network, and partners, rises to this formidable challenge.

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[Regional] Call for Proposals: Internews’ EJN & SEAPA Environmental Story Grants

Announcing new grants by Internews’ Earth Journalism Network and the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) for Environmental Journalists from Asia and the Pacific to produce stories focused on promoting free speech and the environment in the region. Successful applications will show how information can empower at-risk communities to make better decisions and build resilience.

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