WEEKLY MEDIA ROUNDUP (17 – 23 June 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)

National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)
[STATEMENT] NUJP on threats vs photojournalist Jes Aznar


Southeast Asia

Philippine Daily Inquirer: “In SE Asia, Filipinos are the most active netizens

“After being dubbed the ‘Facebook capital of the world,’ the Philippines can claim another internet-related accolade as the most active nation online in Southeast Asia (SEA)…. This is based on the key findings of global digital content delivery company Limelight Networks Inc.’s recent report, ‘The State of the User Experience—South East Asia.'”



The Cambodia Daily: “Journalists Protest Arrest of Reporters in Ratanakkiri

“About 50 journalists who work in provinces across the country gathered at the Information Ministry headquarters in Phnom Penh on Tuesday (20 June 2017) to protest the arrest of four journalists in Ratanakkiri province for alleged extortion last week…. The journalists submitted a complaint to Information Minister Khieu Kanharith, asking him to intervene with Ratanakkiri provincial authorities on behalf of the reporters, who the complaint says were ‘harassed’ and had their ‘rights stifled.'”

See also:

The Phnom Penh Post: “Journalists ask MOI to intervene for detainees


The Phnom Penh Post: “Government may probe NEC critics

“The Ministry of Interior confirmed that it would take action against social media users who criticised the National Election Committee following the commune elections, but only if the NEC filed an official complaint…The NEC published a letter on June 13 calling for legal action to ‘stop and crack down on these crimes’ of publishing ‘inciting’ content that defames the election body.”



Jakarta Globe: “Police to Investigate Beating of Journalist by Mobile Brigade Officers

“Indonesia’s Alliance of Independent Journalists, or AJI, on Monday (19/06) said the police should investigate the beating of a journalist from state news agency Antara by officers from its Mobile Brigade unit at the Indonesian Open badminton tournament in Jakarta on Sunday…Antara journalist Ricky Prayoga was queuing at an ATM when a member of the police’s Mobile Brigade (Brimob) unit approached him and started beating him for no reason.”


West Papua Daily: “Violence against Jubi’s journalist is still under investigation

“The case of violence against Jubi journalists, Yance Wenda who allegedly conducted by unscrupulous members of Jayapura Police, early May 2017 is still under investigation by Propam Papua Police…. Head of Public Relations of Papua Police, Senior Commissioner (Pol) AM. Kamal said the case had not yet been transferred to Jayapura Resort Police because it was still under investigation by Propam Polda Papua.”



Malaysiakini: “Man detained for insulting cop on social media

“Police detained a staff of the Terengganu Forestry Department, here, for posting offensive remarks following his disgruntlement towards a police officer who had fined him…. Kuala Terengganu police chief Supt Suffian Sulaiman said the 26-year-old man posted the remark on Friday (16 June 2017) after being fined for using a registration number plate that did not adhere to specifications.”


Malaysiakini: “Rosmah sets lawyers upon social media to hunt down ‘slanderers’

“Prime Minister Najib Razak’s wife Rosmah Mansor has instructed her lawyers to closely monitor the social media for ‘attacks and false allegations’ against her…. According to her legal firm NoorHajran Mohd Noor said their lawyers are “closely monitoring all postings appearing in any social media platforms and other forms of publications in relation to false and malicious attacks” against its client.”



Mizzima: “Protest against Section 66(d) has been cancelled

“The protest and signature collection event that journalists planned to hold in front of the Yangon Division Military Headquarters to call for the termination of Section 66(d) of the Telecommunications Law has been cancelled.”

See also:

The Irrawaddy: “Yangon Govt Bans 66(d) Opposition Signature Campaign Near Military Command


Geopolitical Monitor: (Opinion) “Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi Is Not Doing the Press any Favors

“Just as the National League for Democracy (NLD) led government in Myanmar completes its first year in office, questions are being asked in different circles whether Aung San Suu Kyi epitomizes the above quote, which she herself made before the 1990 general election in Myanmar. There is no doubt that her government exhibits a palpable sign of nervousness. But what detracts from her credibility most is the NLD government’s hostile attitude towards the institution of fourth estate in Myanmar.”



The Manila Times: “‘Fake news bill imperils freedom of expression’

“A proposed bill slapping as much as P5-million fine and five-year prison time for peddlers of fake news will endanger citizens’ constitutional right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press, lawmakers warned on Friday (23 June 2017).”

See also:

GMA News: “Party-list solon opposes move to criminalize fake news
CNN Philippines. “Bill filed vs. fake news: Up to ₱10M fine, 10-year jail time for erring public officials” ; “CBCP to public: Fight ‘fake news’
INQUIRER.net: “Anti-fake news bill may affect freedom of expression—solon
BusinessWorld ONLINE: (Opinion) “Worse than the disease



QUARTZ: “Singapore’s elite are feuding publicly on Facebook to bypass its state-controlled press

“Singapore’s tightly-knit elite political circles have resorted to social media trolling, in a desperate search for a public space to vent. The two younger children of Singapore’s first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, have been trading blows with their elder brother, current prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, all weekend. The dispute is over the fate of the Lee patriarch’s bungalow, and whether it should be demolished in accordance with Lee Kuan Yew’s wishes, or preserved for historical value. Various cabinet ministers and Lee descendants have joined the fray. And it’s all happening on Facebook, thanks in part to Singapore’s tightly policed press.”



Bangkok Post: “Defamation complaint against rights activists dropped

“The Internal Security Operations Command Region 4’s Forward Command has withdrawn a complaint against three human rights activists accused of defamation over a human rights violation report…According to the press release, while the defamation complaint has been withdrawn, the other charge of spreading false information under the computer crime law cannot be dropped and is being processed by prosecutors.”


The Nation. “No more press conferences for suspects : national police chief

“The national police chief has banned the presentation of criminal suspects at press conferences and they will no longer be allowed to talk to the press.”

See also:

Prayut rules suspects will not be paraded at press conferences


Bangkok Post. “Unregistered OTTs unwelcome: NBTC

“Over-the-top (OTT) platform providers that fail to register their services within the 30-day deadline set this week by the national broadcasting regulator will have no right to do business in Thailand, says Col Natee Sukolrat, vice-chairman of the agency.”

See also:

Facebook, Netflix get OTT ultimatum



Human Rights Watch (HRW). “Vietnam: End Attacks on Activists and Bloggers

“Vietnamese bloggers and rights activists are being beaten, threatened, and intimidated with impunity, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Vietnamese government should order an end to all attacks and hold those responsible accountable. Donor governments should tell the Vietnamese authorities to end the crackdown, and that repressing internet freedom, peaceful speech, and activism will carry consequences.”



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

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