WEEKLY MEDIA ROUNDUP (19 – 25 November 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)

[Malaysia] Women journalists harassed during protest coverage

See also:
Joint Statement: Drop Charges and Release Bersih Organizers and Supporters


[Malaysia] SEAPA Statement: Drop the charges against Malaysiakini’s KiniTV and editor



Interview: Women Journalists Deserve Equal Respect and Protection
Interview: Access to news sources has not changed


Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR)
Year Seven After the Massacre: Still No Justice on Sixth Year of Trial

“The call for justice is not for victims alone but for all Filipinos. For what can the future hold for us if the state, its officials and instruments serve only the rich and powerful. The culture of impunity is selective. Conviction and punishment are decided quickly when the offenders are poor and without the means to pay for legal defense…. This call for justice points to the need of reform of the judicial system. Its weaknesses sustain the conditions of impunity which in turn punishes us all equally.”



The Jakarta Post: “Indonesian government wants to protect itself from insults

“…the government may no longer take such insults lightly if the House of Representatives approves its proposal that insulting the government be made a crime in the new Criminal Code (KUHP) bill.”


The Jakarta Post: “Does the revised IT Law guarantee more freedom?

“The issue of free speech in Indonesia’s democracy needs to be seriously promoted. This might be no significant change after the House of Representatives finally passed into law the controversial amendments to the 2008 Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law last month.”



The Sun Daily: “Johor urged to pass its own Freedom of Information Enactment

“The Johor State Government has been urged to pass its own Freedom of Information Enactment to allow public access to government administration data in order to create a transparent government.”



Myanmar Times: “Section 66(d), the newest threat to freedom of expression in Myanmar?

“The government is under mounting pressure from the public and from rights groups to amend its criminal defamation laws after a spate of cases against journalists and bloggers has raised questions about the administration’s commitment to protecting free speech.”



Bulatlat.com: “No moving on for kin of Ampatuan Massacre victims

“Seven years after the massacre, no one has been convicted yet for the murder of 58 individuals, of whom 32 were journalists. According to a media briefer issued by the Supreme Court , the special court handling the case heard 232 witnesses. The bail petition filed by one of the primary suspect Andal ‘Unsay’ Ampatuan Jr. has yet to be resolved. The defense is now in the stage of presenting evidence.”

See also:
INQUIRER.net: “Palace admits justice elusive for Maguindanao Massacre victims
Davao Today: “Fight vs. impunity, media killings must not end—NUJP Davao


Philippine Daily Inquirer: “Foreign journalist gets a taste of spite from Duterte

“A foreign journalist got a first-hand experience of President Duterte’s notorious crabbiness…. Following a lengthy response to questions from journalist Jonathan Miller, Mr. Duterte cussed at the British television reporter.”

See also:
BusinessWorld: “Duterte slams US anew, swears at foreign reporter


Rappler.com. “FOI to take effect on Nov 25: What you need to know

“The public can start requesting for government documents and records in the executive branch as the Freedom of Information (FOI) Executive Order takes effect on Friday, November 25.”

See also:
Duterte gov’t launches FOI online portal, manuals” ; “Private media not allowed at FOI portal, manual launch
Philippine Daily Inquirer: “Palace launches freedom of info online
ABS-CBN News: “Palace lists nine exceptions to FOI executive order
Sun.Star Cebu: “Opinion of the Cebu Citizens-Press Council on Gov. Junjun Davide’s Executive Order #15, S. 2016
GMA News Online: “Private media kept out of FOI launch rites in Malacañang
InterAkson.com: “Palace launches FOI Manual, bars media
BusinessWorld: “Media barred from covering launch of new freedom of information portal


InterAksyon.com: “Media groups assail ‘treacherous’ and ‘furtive’ burial of Marcos at LNMB

“Two media groups weighed in Monday (21 November 2016) on the ‘treacherous’ and ‘furtive’ burial of the remains of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB), saying that among other crimes against the people, he had shackled media as part of the martial-law apparatus to suppress democracy movements.”


Manila Bulletin: “Framing news stories on GPH-CPP-NPA-NDF peace process

“Until recently, there has been little media coverage on the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines) and much less on the peace process with the Philippine government which was revived after President Duterte took office.”



Coconuts Bangkok. “Sweeping Censorship: New Computer crime laws would give government control of internet

“Critics and experts have voiced concerns over the latest amendment of the Computer Crime Act because if passed, it would allow the government to block any content they deem ‘inappropriate’ without a court order…. At the same time, its ambigious sections have raised fears that the law may be abused.”


Bangkok Post: “Lese majeste suspects ‘bottled up in Laos’

“A number of suspected lese majeste offenders are holed up in Laos and police will work with public prosecutors and Interpol to track them down, the national police chief says.”



Khaosod English. “Freedom fighters: Prison doesn’t deter Vietnam’s dissident bloggers

“(Pham Chi) Dung is one of Vietnam’s active dissident bloggers who dares to challenge the state’s control on media and defy its draconian laws on criticizing the government. He and another activist blogger sat for interviews earlier this month following a string of recent crackdowns on Vietnamese bloggers to explain their struggles, compare Vietnam’s censorship to that of Thailand and explain the international community’s role in their quest for a free press.”




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

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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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