[Philippines] Government’s unrelenting demonization, red-tagging escalates threats to media, press freedom

We call on all concerned public officials, notably President Rodrigo Duterte, to cease and desist from putting the press – or those that they see fit to malign every chance they get – in harm’s way and uphold their right to report freely and independently without fearing for their safety.

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[Philippines] Presidential Communications Undersecretary Egco and “Irresponsible Journalism”

All reports issued by the three groups go through the verification process that is at the heart of all true journalism, and in addition are subjected to the gate-keeping processes of the publications it serves.

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[Philippines] RED TAGGING: Hands off NUJP-Cagayan de Oro member Cong Corrales and family

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines deplores the inclusion of our member and former director Cong Corrales, his wife and son in an anonymous list naming alleged members of the Communist Party of the Philippines in Cagayan de Oro.

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Photo by AJI

[Indonesia] AJI Jakarta Condemns Violent Treatment of Journalists at Munajat 212

A number journalists had been assaulted, intimidated and persecuted by a crowd wearing the attributes of the the Islamic Defense Front (FPI) in the National Monument area during the Munajat 212 gathering held Thursday (2/21) night in Jakarta.

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SOURCE: Jolovan Wham's Facebook

[Singapore] Activist Jolovan Wham ditches fine for 16-day prison term over illegal assembly

Choosing jail time over a court-imposed fine, civil rights activist Jolovan Wham was sentenced today, 21 February 2019, to at least two weeks of imprisonment for illegally organizing a public discussion that featured Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong, who spoke over Skype.

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[Myanmar] Media community condemns verdict against Tanintharyi Journal over a satirical article

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. 

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Photo from vodhotnews.com

[Cambodia] Three reporters detained for alleged extortion; deny accusation

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.

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[Philippines] SEAPA, other groups issue joint statement of solidarity with Ressa and Rappler; call for all charges to be dropped

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.

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Rappler CEO Maria Ressa talks with the media after posting bail. | Photo by CMFR

[Philippines] Rappler’s Maria Ressa Posts Bail on Cyber Libel

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.

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[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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