Dire state of freedom of expression in SEA mirrors global trend

The continuing rise of autocratic forces across the globe weakened checks and balances for democracy such as free media, civic groups, and an independent judiciary in 2018 – and Southeast Asia was no exception. These are documented in the newly released World Report 2019 of the Human Rights Watch (HRW).

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Rappler CEO Maria Ressa speaks at a rally during the Black Friday protest on January 19, 2018, triggered by the revocation of the online news outlet's registration.

[Philippines] Duterte administration stepped up attacks against media, critics in 2018 — HRW

In its latest report released Thursday, 17 January 2019, the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) decries the deteriorating human rights situation in the Philippines and its consequent impact, among others, on freedom of expression in the country.

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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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[Philippines] Pakistani media group appeals to President Duterte over killing of radio broadcaster

The Pakistan Press Foundation, an independent media organization that seeks to promote and defend freedom of expression, expressed “deep concern” on the killing of Philippine radio announcer Gabriel Alburo in a letter to President Rodrigo Duterte, dated 31 December 2018.

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