[Philippines] CMFR Statement on ‘Anti-False Content Act:’ Dangerous and Unnecessary

If passed into law, Senate Bill Number 9, the “Anti-False Content Act” would not only abridge free expression and press freedom that is protected by Article III Section 4 of the Constitution. As law, it will further lower the bar of democratic discourse by limiting the online discussion of public issues to subjects considered safe and the expression of views and opinions to those approved by government.

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Photo from VOD.

[Cambodia] Fixer-translator sentenced to two years for role in documentary on child prostitution

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced a local fixer and translator to two years in prison and ordered him to pay about USD 17,500 in damages on 26 June 2019 for his participation in the making of a documentary about the sex trafficking of minors in Cambodia.

Rath Rott Mony worked for the Russian state-owned RT news channel’s documentary, “My Mother Sold Me,” which aired in October 2018. It tackled the stories of three young girls who were sold by their mothers into prostitution.

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[Regional] Reclaiming civic space: Media, CSOs explore joint actions to reclaim media and civic spaces in Southeast Asia

SEAPA and ADN, with support from Bawaslu, organized a multi-stakeholder forum titled “Towards Building Regional Solidarity To Reclaim Civic Space In Southeast Asia” to discuss issues on shrinking civic space online and offline and sought to draw up actions to fight back.

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Source: IDN Times

[Indonesia] Women journalists’ group condemns violence against media

Forum Jurnalis Perempuan Indonesia (FJPI, Women Journalists Forum of Indonesia) condemns the violence that was committed against journalists covering the street protests in Jakarta on 22 May 2019. At least seven journalists covering the demonstration were physically attacked or threatened during their coverage of the incident. Two of them were women journalists — Intan Bedisa and Rahajeng Mutiara — who suffered physical and verbal assaults, said FJPI.

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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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[Philippines] Well-known journalist forays into politics, denies the press is under attack

The Philippines remains one of the most dangerous places for journalists. To date there is no dearth of reports on the state of press freedom in the Philippines, and former journalist and now senatorial candidate Jiggy Manicad should be well aware of this.

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Photo by Maung Saungkha.

[Myanmar] Release of Wa Lone, Kyaw Soe Oo a rare triumph of justice — SEAPA

The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) hails the release of convicted Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were charged under the 1923 Official Secrets Act.

They were among the 6,520 prisoners pardoned by President Win Myint on Tuesday, 7 May. The two courageous journalists were in a Insein jail for 511 days.

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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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