WEEKLY MEDIA ROUNDUP (10 – 16 December 2016)

Here are some of the press freedom- and free expression-related events and issues you might have missed last week:


Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA)


Myanmar Journalist Network (MJN)
[Burma] MJN Condolences and Statement: Journalists’ lives are at risk


Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR)
[Philippines] Broadcaster Receives Threats via SMS
Journalist facing libel charges receives death threats


The Nation: “Asean media outlets urge more vigorous self-regulation

“Media self-regulation remains the best practice to promote industry ethics in Asean while maintaining press freedom, journalists heard yesterday (15 December 2016), but political and social challenges have kept outlets in several countries from realising that goal.”


IFEX: “Fighting words in Burma

“As reports of atrocities in the conflict region spread and some protesters call for Aung San Suu Kyi’s Nobel peace prize to be revoked, an independent commission led by Kofi Annan is asking for media access.”



VOA Cambodia: “Election Official’s Appeal Turned Down in Defamation Case

“The Court of Appeals has dismissed a request to overturn a case against a former senior election official and human rights worker who was sentenced to six months for defamation in September…. Ny Chakrya, former secretary-general of the National Election Committee, was sentenced for defamation over criticisms he made of the judiciary in Siem Reap…. He was sentenced on September 22 by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.”


Southeast Asia Globe: “Facebook becomes No 1 news source in Cambodia

“Almost half of Cambodians own at least one smartphone, according to an annual report on mobile phones and the internet from the Asia Foundation and Open Institute…. Their survey of urban and rural Cambodians found a marked rise in smartphone ownership, with the number of people saying they own at least one smartphone rising from just one in five in 2013.”



The Street: “Indonesia Gets a Chance to Prove It’s More Journalist-Friendly in 2017

“…while the lack of access to Papua means that coverage of the region remains limited, some say that the coming year will be a test for Indonesia as it gets set to host UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day celebrations on May 3, 2017. Many Papuan journalists say they are fed up with the censorship, self-censorship and dangers that go along with reporting from and about the region and they are ready to let the world know.”



Free Malaysia Today: “‘Media freedom must be exercised responsibly’

“Freedom of speech and the rights provided to the media must be exercised responsibly, Umno leaders said today (14 December 2016)…. Hence, the link between Malaysiakini’s co-founder Premesh Chandran and the Open Society Foundations (OSF), owned by American business magnate George Soros, cannot be ignored, they added.”



Eleven: “Eleven Media Group made a press release concerning the dead of Monywa based reporter Soe Moe Tun

“According to the record of Monywa Myoma Police Station, he (Soe Moe Tun) was found death with injuries at his head, left eye brow and swollen face at 00:20 am near Union highway road, Aung Chanthar ward in Monywa. The police has opened this case according to Criminal Act 302…. Eleven Media Group is doing necessary works concerning the death of Soe Moe Tun and urged respective police station to investigate the case as quickly as possible.”

See also:
The Irrawaddy: “Reporter Killed in Sagaing Division
Myanmar Times: “Police suspect murder after Eleven Media reporter found dead” ; “His death was retribution, says murdered journalist’s bereft wife
Coconuts Yangon: “Eleven Media reporter allegedly murdered while investigating illegal logging
Asian Correspondent. “Burma: Journalist killed while reporting on illegal logging in Monywa
Radio Free Asia: “Myanmar Journalist Found Beaten to Death in Monywa
The Nation: “Foreign press demands EMG case probe
The New York Times: “Myanmar Reporter Killed While Investigating Illegal Logging


Radio Free Asia: “Myanmar Government to Allow Independent Journalists Into Rakhine’s Maungdaw Township

“The Myanmar government said Friday (16 December 2016) that it will allow a group of independent journalists into Rakhine state’s Maungdaw township, which is still under a security lockdown following deadly attacks on border guard posts in October and subsequent violent clashes last month…. Thirteen independent journalists will be escorted on a three-day trip to the area on Dec. 19-21 under full security, the notice said. It did not mention which reporters or news organization would be included…. More visits by journalists will come later, allowing news outlets to cover news in the region, it said.”



The Straits Times: “Tan Kiat How appointed new CEO of Infocomm Media Development Authority

“The Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) on Friday (Dec 16) announced the appointment of Mr Tan Kiat How as the new chief executive of the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), effective from Jan 1 next year (2017).”



Asian Correspondent: “Thailand approves controversial cyber crime Bill despite protests

“Thailand’s Parliament passed legislation amending a cyber crime law on Friday, which rights groups have criticised as likely to lead to more extensive online monitoring by the state…. Thailand‘s military government has ramped up online censorship since it seized power in a 2014 coup, in particular to block perceived insults to the royal family.”

See also:
Understanding Thailand’s revised Computer Crime Act
The Nation: “Fears of computer crackdown” ; “Embattled Computer Crime Act set to pass
Coconuts Bangkok: “Prayuth defends cyber controls as censorship concerns rise
Reuters: “Thai PM defends cyber controls as censorship concerns rise
TIME: “The Thai Junta Looks Set to Tighten Control of the Internet Even Further
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ): “Thai legislation threatens online freedoms
Bangkok Post: “Editorial: Computer bill deeply flawed


Bangkok Post: “Thaksin lays libel complaint against Thai Post

“Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra had his lawyer file a defamation complaint against the Thai Post newspaper for allegedly saying he lacked loyalty to the royal institution…. Chumsai Sriyapai, a member of the Pheu Thai legal team, filed the complaint at Makkasan police station in Bangkok on Wednesday (14 December 2016), citing the Criminal Code’s section on defamation and an offence under the Computer Crimes Act.”



Please refer to this blog for other media, press freedom, and free expression stories not included in this roundup.

All information and materials in this roundup are for general information and use only and do not constitute any advice or recommendation.

All information and materials in this roundup are provided in good faith. Except for the information produced by SEAPA, we are not responsible for the contents or reliability of linked websites and do not necessarily endorse the views expressed within them. We have no control over availability of the linked websites.

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