[Philippines] SEAPA denounces gov’t indictment of Rappler on tax evasion charges

Southeast Asian governments’ unrelenting efforts to stifle media scrutiny have set off alarm bells among concerned sectors not only in the region but across the globe. That the Philippines’s otherwise independent press is now under severe threat while its counterparts in the more repressive parts of Southeast Asia are suffering under the weight of varying degrees of suppression and retaliation by the states shows that press freedom in the region has fallen to great depths.

SEAPA calls on the Philippine government to desist from attacking the media for doing its job and undermining press freedom, a hallmark of any democracy.

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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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[Cambodia] JOINT STATEMENT: CSOs call on authorities to step up the fight against endemic impunity in the country

Since 1994, at least 13 journalists have been murdered: Thou Char Mongkol, Nun Chan, Chan Dara, Thun Bun Ly, Chet Duong Daravuth, Pich Em, Dok Sokhan, Ou Saroeun, Chour Chetharith, Khim Sambo, Hang Serei Oudom, Suon Chan and Taing Try. In all these cases, the victims were killed because of their work. In 11 out of these 13 cases, no one was convicted for the murders; in seven, no suspect was arrested or interrogated.

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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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[Myanmar] From street protests to online campaigns, support continues for jailed Reuters reporters

After the court meted out its decision on 3 September 2018 decision, with the two still behind bars while awaiting the court’s decision, defense lawyer U Khin Maung Zaw said: “Today’s verdict is very disappointing. It’s bad for our country. It’s bad for democracy. It’s bad for the rule of law. And it’s bad for freedom of expression.” Protests have escalated since the two Reuters reporters were found guilty of breaching the colonial-era Official Secrets Act by the Yangon Northern District court.

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[Philippines] NUJP on law enforcers’ visits to media outfits

To be fair, there is nothing wrong about wanting good press. However, it is one thing to cover the PNP’s accomplishments, and the media have never been remiss about giving credit where it is due. It is a totally different matter, though, to seek to recruit the media in a campaign meant to spruce up the service’s image.

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[Philippines] Broadcaster’s house shot at in Negros Occidental

Local radio broadcaster Rey Siason of Muews Radio was not home when the shooting happened past 10:45 p.m.  But Siason’s daughter, mother-in-law, two sisters-in law, his nephew and niece were in the house when the incident occurred. No one was reported hurt. Siason said he believes he was the target of the attack.

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