WEEKLY MEDIA ROUNDUP (11 – 17 June 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)

tempo.co: “AJI Condemns Ahok for Banishing Journalist

“The Jakarta chapter of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) criticized Jakarta Governor Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama for banning a journalist with an online news portal Arah.com to enter his office. Ahmad Nurhasim, chairman of AJI’s Jakarta chapter said that Ahok has violated the press law.”

 

Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR)
Facebook Takedown: Social Media Censorship?

“In late May and early June, after Duterte’s victory was already apparent, Facebook took down posts critical of Duterte and other political personalities, sparking an outcry not only from the journalists affected but also from other social media users.”

 

Cambodia

The Diplomat: “What’s Behind Cambodia’s Black Monday Campaign?

“…the continuing ‘Black Monday’ campaign is a potent reminder that human rights, justice, and democracy are still under attack in the country.”

See also:
Mizzima: “Cambodia opposition activists jailed for ‘insurrection’

 

The Heritage Foundation: “Holding the Cambodian Government Accountable to Democracy

“Democracy in Cambodia is backsliding. The flawed elections of July 2013 led to severe restrictions on freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and freedom of speech.”

 

Indonesia

Asian Correspondent: “What are Indonesian authorities doing to protect journalists?

“Media and human rights groups have denounced the recent threats of violence against Indonesian reporter Febriana Firdaus for her coverage of a symposium related to the country’s 1965 anti-communist massacre earlier in June.”

 

The Jakarta Post: “Govt, legislature to keep online defamation article in ITE Law

“The government and legislature have agreed to keep a controversial article on online defamation in the Electronic Information and Transaction (ITE) Law despite protests of free speech violation.”

 

Malaysia

Malaysiakini: “After altercation with Malaysiakini journalist, Amanah urges restraint

“Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) communications director Khalid Samad has said the party should exercise restraint when dealing with the media.”

 

Free Malaysia Today: “FOI documents only for own use, says Penang Govt

“Documents obtained via Penang’s Freedom of Information Enactment cannot be reproduced and are for one’s own consumption only, State Secretary Farizan Darus said.”

See also:
Hock Seng: Everyone treated same, must go through FOI

 

Myanmar

Nikkei: “Throwing open Myanmar’s media shutters in 100 days

“An important part of Minister Pe Myint’s brief is introducing the citizens of Myanmar to some unfamiliar concepts, including freedom of speech and information, and responsive government.”

See also:
Frontier Myanmar: “Minister defends Suu Kyi over criticism on media access

 

The Nation: “Myanmar censors ban movie at human rights film festival

“Myanmar’s film censorship board said Wednesday (16 June 2016) it banned the screening of a love story featuring an ethnic leader over fears it could derail an ongoing peace process with the country’s rebel armies…. The ban highlights the lingering limits on free speech in the former junta-run country, despite its new civilian government led by democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi.”

See also:
The Irrawaddy. “New Govt, Old Censorship Laws: Film About Shan Prince Banned as Threat to ‘Ethnic Unity’

 

Philippines

Bulatlat.com: “Aquino’s legacy | Media killings unabated, press freedom under siege

“(President Benigno S. Aquino III) will end his term failing to end impunity and uphold press freedom.”

 

Philippine Information Agency: “Makabayan Bloc welcomes FOI Policy of the incoming Duterte Administration

“Makabayan bloc Representative Karlos Zarate of the Bayan-Muna Partylist welcomed the plan of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to impose an executive order designed to ensure transparency and accountability in governance like the Freedom of Information policy.”

 

INQUIRER.net: “New Duterte spox eyes ‘conversation,’ better relations with media

“Former pastor Ernesto “Ernie” Abella, the newest anointed spokesperson of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, faced the media for the first time on Tuesday evening in what he called the start of a “conversation,” amid the incoming Chief Executive’s cold relations with the press.”

 

AlterNet. “The Twins of Fascism: The New, Frightening President of the Philippines and the Donald Have Much in Common

“Fascists and tyrants don’t want an informed citizenry because it threatens their power, which is exactly why a free press is indispensable to a civil society. Trump and Duterte fundamentally misunderstand the role of free media, and prove they have no respect for democratic ideals.”

 

Singapore

Channel News Asia: “MDA seeks proposals for two FM frequencies

“The Media Development Authority (MDA) has launched a public tender to seek proposals to operate commercial or not-for-profit radio stations on two FM frequencies – FM 89.3 and FM 96.3.”

 

Thailand

Khaosod English: “Religion and politics should not be discussed, authorities tell press club

“The capital’s 60-year-old press club has been asked to cancel a discussion on Buddhism and politics scheduled for Wednesday (22 June 2016) due to authorities’ fears it could affect national security.”

 

Khaosod English: “UN rights chief urges Thailand to allow debate of draft charter

“In a broader address on the degrading of rights globally and proliferation of hate, UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein raised the ‘paradoxical’ suppression of debate on a matter going to public vote in less than two months during the 32nd Session of the U.N. Human Rights Council.”

 

NOTE

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

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