WEEKLY MEDIA ROUNDUP (20 – 26 August 2016)

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

 

Myanmar

DVB: “Facebook insult case set to go to trial

“A court in Burma indicted a man on Monday (22 August 2016) for insulting the military chief and former president on social media, under a controversial telecommunications law that activists have urged the new government to repeal.”

 

Myanmar Times: “Support for Myanmar’s media – vital then, essential now

“…timely and relevant media reporting is playing a key role everywhere: in explaining Myanmar’s political developments; in disseminating the directions of economic reforms; in mobilising support for all social initiatives…. Without the energising role of Myanmar’s media, progress would falter, reforms would flounder and change would stall.”

 

The Irrawaddy: “Lower House Approves Annulment of Emergency Provisions Act

“Tun Tun Hein, committee chair, argued that the Emergency Provisions Act had been used by previous governments to stifle political dissent.”

 

Philippines

National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP). “Statement: Counting, explaining the drug war deaths part of news media’s role

“We have no quarrel with Mr. (Alan Peter) Cayetano’s professed desire to rid the country of crime and drugs. This, we do not doubt, is the fervent wish of all Filipinos, regardless of where they stand on the issue of the war on drugs and on how this should be carried out…. But we do mind it when his zeal drives him to spout careless and baseless accusations that endanger not only us (media and journalists) but others as well.”

See also:
GMA News Online. “ON ‘KILL LISTS’ | Sen. Cayetano to media: I’m sorry but you misinterpreted me

 

Philippine Daily Inquirer: “While bashing Leila, Digong hits on TV reporter

“In an early morning press briefing on Wednesday, the President openly flirted with a reporter of the state-run People’s Television Network Inc. (PTV-4) while fielding questions from other journalists in Davao City.”

 

GMA News Online: “‘DIGONG FRUSTRATED, TIRED’ | Yasay blames media for Duterte’s scathing words vs. UN

“Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. on Monday (22 August 2016) blamed the media for highlighting President Rodrigo Duterte’s scathing remarks against the United Nations in a post-midnight press conference on Sunday (21 August 2016), claiming the Chief executive’s statements were taken out of context.”

 

Singapore

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA). “Singapore: New Contempt of Court Law Further Curtails Limited Freedom of Expression

“The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and its Singaporean member, Think Centre, condemn the passage of the Administration of Justice (Protection) Bill by the Singaporean Parliament on Monday 15 August. It further restricts the limited right to freedom of expression and press freedom in the country.”

 

Reuters. “Mind the air-gap: Singapore’s web cut-off balances security, inconvenience

“Singapore is working on how to implement a policy to cut off web access for public servants as a defense against potential cyber attack – a move closely watched by critics who say it marks a retreat for a technologically advanced city-state that has trademarked the term ‘smart nation’.”

See also:
AEI: “Singapore’s wrong turn on the internet

 

Thailand

Khaosod English: “Media’s self-inflicted punishment is the new censorship

“In this new model of pre-emptive self-censorship, it’s the media organization which “voluntarily” takes the initiative to censor itself by punishing its own staff to avoid the appearance of another infringement on press freedom by the junta or broadcast commission.”

 

The Nation: “Sondhi acquitted in Thaksin libel suit

“The Supreme Court Thursday acquitted Sondhi Limthongkul, the owner of the Manager media group, in a defamation lawsuit filed by former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. However, the court sentenced Sondhi’s TV co-host Sarocha Porn-Udomsak to six months in jail with a two-year suspension and a fine of Bt20,000.”

 

Bangkok Post: “Cyber security master plan approved

“The Defence Council has approved a draft masterplan to ward off cybersecurity threats to the country, Defence Ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantrawanich said.”

 

Prachatai: “New Computer Crime Bill, a blank check for censorship: Thai Digital Confederation

“The Thai Digital Federation urged the lawmakers to amend the draft of the Computer Crime Bill, saying that it opens space for the authorities to suppress the rights to freedom of expressions.”

 

Vietnam

Radio Free Asia: “Two Jailed in Vietnam in Closed Trial Over Facebook Offense

“A court in south-central Vietnam’s coastal Khanh Hoa province convicted two online activists of conducting propaganda against the state on Tuesday (23 August 2016), handing one a three-year term and sentencing the other to two years in a closed trial, sources said.”

See also:
Interview: ‘I Have Never Seen Any Trial Like This Before’

 

NOTE

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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