[Indonesia] AJI urges government to lift social media restrictions

Indonesian government has restricted the use of social media to stop the widespread sharing of manipulated videos and pictures following the violent post-election riots that started from Tuesday night, 21 May 2019, and continued till yesterday evening. The riots erupted in several spots in Jakarta, concentrated in Thamrin area, Central Jakarta and Slipi, West Jakarta.

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[Indonesia] Call for Probe into Violence against Journalists at the May 22 Post-Election Protests

AJI Jakarta and the Press Legal Aid Institute (LBH Pers) strongly condemn the assault on journalists as well as attempts to impede them in their work by both the police and protesters.

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[Singapore] SEAPA appeals to Singapore government to recall anti-falsehood draft law

The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) echoes the concerns raised by other press freedom and free expression advocates across the globe on this draconian bill that, inter alia, grants overarching powers to state authorities in combating disinformation, potentially leaving its citizens, particularly the media, in an even more precarious state once a new law of this kind comes into force.

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[Vietnam] Open Letter to Facebook: Don’t Give in to Censorship

With over 64 million Facebook users and not a single independent newspaper in Vietnam, Facebook is where Vietnamese go “to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.” On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, we urge Facebook to abide by this aspiration of its mission statement.

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[Thailand] TJA calls for ‘freedom with responsibilities’ on WPFD2019

The Thai Journalists Association continues to support the principles to ensure that professional media members of all channels is aware of the value of “press freedom” and commits themselves to the morals of the media profession under the principles of “freedom with responsibilities.” In the era of online and social media, press media has high expectation from the public and is monitored by all sectors in society. As a result, members of the press media must share their responsibilities in all forms.

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[Philippines] The State of Media, under Duterte

IN the last 34 months under President Rodrigo R. Duterte, cases and incidents of attacks and threats on the Philippine media continue relentlessly, with hardly any major efforts at investigation or solution by responsible state agencies.To mark World Press Freedom Day on Wednesday, May 3, the “Freedom for Media, Freedom for All Network” released its third semestral report on The State of Philippine Media under the Duterte Administration.

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[Philippines] The President and the Press: A Timeline of Hostilities Against the Media

BY ALL indications, President Rodrigo R. Duterte has no love lost for independent and critical media.

In about two dozen times in his 34 months in office, he has openly expressed his displeasure and disaffection, and in rancorous prose called journalists names and foisted threats both veiled and naked against certain media agencies.

In his own words, here’s a timeline of the things that President Duterte has said about the press.

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[Philippines] Just the Facts: Foreign Funding Isn’t the Problem

Sheila Coronel, also one of the founders of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) and former board member of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA), disputes Roberto Tiglao’s arguments and persistent attacks in the following essay.

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[Regional] SEAPA Bulletin: World Press Freedom Day 2019

May 3 marks World Press Freedom Day (WPFD), a celebration of media freedom as a basic human right. It is a call for the promotion and protection of free expression around the world and a salute to journalists and media workers who are at risk for upholding the people’s democratic right to information.

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[Philippines] The Plot Thickens Over Heightened Attacks Against Media

The Philippines is not unlike other countries in the region that had their national polls recently, such as Cambodia, Malaysia, and Thailand, where governments had kept a close watch on the media – a tacit acknowledgment of the power of what is often dubbed the Fourth Estate to keep public officials in check, not to mention ensure a well-informed and engaged citizenry whose votes and collective opinions could upend authoritarian rulers’ determined effort to keep their grip on power – at all costs.

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[Myanmar] Supreme Court ruling on Reuters reporters a grave injustice —SEAPA

The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision of the Myanmar Supreme Court to uphold the seven-year imprisonment of Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. This ruling effectively puts the final nail in the coffin of their quest for justice.

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[Myanmar] Supreme Court set to rule on an appeal by jailed Reuters journalists

The Myanmar Supreme Court must order the release of Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, global civil society alliance CIVICUS and the Asia Democracy Network (ADN) said today. The two journalists, who have been jailed since 2017, are set to go before the country’s highest court on 23 April. The court will rule upon their appeal, which was submitted on grounds that lower court rulings involved errors in judicial procedure.

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[Philippines] NUJP: Dante Ang story laying the ground for more attacks

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines expresses alarm over The Manila Times article “Oust-Duterte plot bared,” penned by no less that its Chairman Emeritus Dante A. Ang, as dangerous as it lays the ground for more attacks against independent media.

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[Regional] Journalist safety declines as authoritarian regimes tighten grip on media —RSF

As authoritarian regimes continue their crackdown on the media, there are fewer countries where journalists can safely practice their profession. This stark reality is one of the findings that emerges from the newly released 2019 World Press Freedom Index of the Paris-based media group Reporters Without Borders (RSF). RSF said the Asia-Pacific region “continues to exhibit all of the problems that can beset journalism” which ranks third from last among the six main regions around the world.

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