[Philippines] Rappler’s Maria Ressa arrested for cyber libel

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.

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[Philippines] Maria Ressa’s arrest ‘belies all pretense of upholding press freedom’ —SEAPA

“The issuance of the arrest warrant and the entering of charges against Maria Ressa should settle any remaining doubt that President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration will stop at nothing to keep a free and inquisitive media out of its way.”

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NUJP national chairperson Nonoy Espina and Negros Press Club president Boy Duran react on the “drug list” implicating local journalists in Bacolod City.

[Philippines] Negros media up in arms over ‘drug list’

The media community in the central Philippine province of Negros Occidental was up in arms following the circulation since late last week of at least three lists of purported “drug protectors” that included at least 15 of their colleagues.

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Photo from the Facebook of Sirote Klampaiboon, Voice TV news host

[Thailand] Voice TV shutdown yet another assault on press freedom —SEAPA

Such perceived risk is unwarranted and could only be construed as yet another unmistakable curtailment of press freedom by the ruling junta. At a time when Thailand is on the cusp of a new election that has been put off countless times, much to the frustration of a nation that has grown weary of military rule, the NBTC’s order could not have sent off a stronger signal. That is, the state will not countenance media outfits, who, in asserting their fundamental right to inform and engage the public in meaningful discussions of important issues, dare cross the former’s path. 

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[Philippines] Cyber attack downs NUJP site twice

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) website was briefly inaccessible twice on 8 February 2019 in a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, the group said in a statement.

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[Vietnam] Radio Free Asia blogger goes missing after seeking refugee status in Thailand

Vietnamese blogger Truong Duy Nhat has been missing since 26 January 2019, and no one knows his whereabouts. Just three days ago, on 5 February 2019, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that they have lost contact with Nhat and are “extremely concerned” about his safety and well-being.  

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Sorn Sithy (Photo from Facebook)

[Cambodia] Journalist beaten to death in Kratie province

A motorcycle-riding journalist was stoned and beaten to death by a group of unidentified male attackers on Monday midnight, 4 February 2019. 

Suos Chamroeun, provincial deputy police chief in charge of criminal cases, said in an interview Monday that Kratie provincial and Snuol district police were investigating the murder of 18-year-old Sorn Sithy, who worked for BTBP TV Online, in Pi Thnou commune.

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[Philippines] Cyber attacks continue against alternative news website

Alternative media organization Bulatlat.com reported receiving continuous denial-of-service (DoS) attacks from 19 to 29 January 2019, which brought the website down for several days.

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[Philippines] NUJP: PNA fake news proves gov’t hand in red-tagging

That the state news agency, which is under the supervision of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, saw fit to run this utterly malicious and false story clearly proves that this is, indeed, an orchestrated campaign to vilify and silence not just the NUJP but the independent and critical press, involving no less than the Government of the Republic of the Philippines.

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Representatives of seven political parties seeking to contest the much-anticipated poll this year hold a copy of the TJA open letter appealing for their support of the media organization's call for the immediate repeal of the four NCPO special orders restricting media freedom in Thailand.

[Thailand] An earnest plea for media freedom ahead of the national vote

Amid continuing restrictions to the media in Thailand, there is one question that political parties contesting the anticipated general election, initially scheduled for February 24, must confront – what do they plan to do about the ongoing restrictions on the media imposed by the ruling military junta, or the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)?

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[Philippines] Tabloids link NUJP to CPP-NPA-NDF

Three Manila-based tabloids published similar banner stories on 7 January 2019 linking the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines to the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army, and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

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[Indonesia] AJI 2018 Year-End Note: Persecution and Violence Threaten Journalists

The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) noted many improvements in the media and journalism practices in 2018. However, the overall condition—especially concerning press freedom and professionalism—was not satisfying.

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