WEEKLY MEDIA ROUNDUP (11 – 17 March 2017)

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)


[Burma] Concern over continuing harassment of editor

See also:
A Profile on Myanmar Now Editor’s Battle Against the (Mis)Use of Telecom Law


Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR)
Tabloid Columnist Gunned Down in Masbate

See also:
National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)
Tabloid columnist shot dead, 3rd journalist killed in Masbate
Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ)
In Memory of Joaquin Briones


Media and Elections:

[Timor Leste] Free but poor: Challenges to the media in covering the 2017 elections


Freedom of Information:

Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ)
R2RKN REPORT ON FIRST 3 MONTHS OF FOI EO: Action, inaction on requests for People’s FOI Manuals

See also:
FOI PRACTICE PROJECTS OF 6 CSOS: Slow & quick action, open & opaque agencies” ; “503 REQUESTS ON E-FOI PORTAL: 183 denied, 166 granted, 154 pending
Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition (R2KRN): “Forward, back, side steps on FOI: Systems reboot, strong push for law



The Cambodia Daily: “Feud Between Government, UN Rights Office Continues

“Cambodia’s ambassador to the U.N. released a stern statement in response to comments about the country made last week by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the U.N.’s high commissioner for human rights, who expressed his concern over ‘a host of charges and threats against members of opposition parties and people exercising freedom of expression….’ In his response, Ney Sam Ol said, ‘Cambodia remains committed to guaranteeing the individual rights, and freedom of expression,’ but was not prepared to allow people to say whatever they please.”

See also:
VOA Khmer. “The Trump Excuse: Experts Question Justification for Threats Against Media



Free Malaysia Today: “Activist seeks review of Film Censorship Act

“Human rights activist Lena Hendry, who was recently found guilty of screening an uncensored film, is making a last-minute plea for a review of the law she was convicted under…. Facing a possible three-year jail sentence, she said the Film Censorship Act needed to be reviewed as the law was ‘quite outdated’.”


The Straits Times: “Disney rejects cuts to Beauty And The Beast in Malaysia

“Disney has refused to release a censored version of its film Beauty And The Beast in Malaysia after the authorities in the Muslim-majority nation cut a ‘gay moment’ in the movie…. In a statement emailed to Bloomberg, Disney said, ‘the film has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia’, effectively shelving plans to release it in the South-east Asian country.”


Malay Mail Online: “Declassify reclamation project papers, Penang Gerakan tells state

“Penang Gerakan is demanding the state government here declassify all documents for the three ongoing reclamation projects in the state…. Penang Gerakan Youth chief Jason Loo said the state government must do so to adhere to its own claims of transparency…. Loo applied under the state’s Freedom of Information (FOI) Act to view the documents of reclamation projects for Seri Tanjung Pinang 1 (STP1), Seri Tanjung Pinang 2 (STP2) and Gurney Wharf.”



Frontier Myanmar: “Ko Swe Win files lawsuit after heated confrontation in Sanchaung

“Myanmar Now’s chief correspondent has asked Sanchaung police to take action after he was threatened by three men on Tuesday (14 March 2017) evening, in an incident he believes is related to his recent reporting…. Ko Swe Win was returning from a dinner hosted by United States Ambassador Scot Marciel when he was accosted by the men, who had been drinking at a nearby beer station in Sanchaung.”

See also:
The Irrawaddy: “Legal Adviser: Article 66(d) Case Against Ko Swe Win ‘No Longer Valid’” ; “Myanmar Now Journalist Assaulted” ; “Rangoon Resident Files Suit Against Ma Ba Tha Member



Bicol Standard. “FLASH: Mediaman shot dead in Masbate

“Former hard-hitting local commentator Joaquin Briones was assassinated at 8:45 a.m. by two unidentified persons on board a motorcycle…. The victim suffered four gun shot wounds on his back…. Briones, also known as ‘Dos por Dos’, is a a columnist of Remate, a national tabloid.”

See also:
InterAksyon.com: “Tabloid columnist killed in Masbate
The Philippine Star: “Journalist shot dead in Masbate
SunStar.com: “Presidential task force probes killing of Remate columnist
The Manila Times: “Journalists enjoy better protection – task force
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ): “Newspaper columnist murdered in the Philippines


Manila Standard: “Citizens can now lodge online FOI requests

“Citizens can now lodge online Freedom of Information requests to five more government agencies under the government’s e-FOI portal, the Presidential Communications Office said Monday (13 March 2017)…. Among those included in the bigger FOI are the National Economic and Development Authority and its attached agencies, the Department of the Interior and Local Government and its attached agencies, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Central Office, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Department of Budget and Management-Procurement Service.”



South China Morning Post: “Blogger Yee fears persecution if returned by US to Singapore

“A teenage blogger awaiting a Chicago immigration judge’s ruling on his asylum request to stay in the United States said Friday (10 March 2017) that he’s afraid of returning home to Singapore, where he was jailed after posting scathing blog posts about the government.”



Khaosod English: “Activist charged for sarcastic Facebook poll mocking Prayuth

“A parody poll on Facebook about junta chairman Prayuth Chan-ocha prompted police to charge a transparency activist Sunday (12 March 2017) with violating the Computer Crime Act…. Veera Somkwamkid, a former leader of the Yellowshirt movement and vocal critic of the military regime, said he will turn himself in on Wednesday over the poll, which asked users to choose which was true: seven rosy promises from a song written by Prayuth or ‘none of the above.'”


Bangkok Post: “Egat files 15 cases against posters of ‘false info’

“The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand has filed 15 police complaints against people who posted on social media, accusing them of spreading false information with intent to damage its reputation, an Egat official said.”



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

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