WEEKLY MEDIA ROUNDUP (25 June – 1 July 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)

Alerts:

[Burma] Military continues to put pressure on media

Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR)
[Philippines] Blocktimer’s House Riddled with Bullets in Davao del Sur

 

Commentary:
[Burma and Thailand] Controlled narrative for mutual benefit

 

Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR)
Police Officer Convicted for 2010 Murder of Broadcaster

 

Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ)
Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR)
Pooled Editorial: The Prez and the Press

“…despite his vexation with those he calls the ‘lowlifes’ and the ‘mouthpieces’ in the news media, we must at all times cover him, his actions, and his statements. In truth, the news media must report more—and better—about him, his policies and his actions, with our reports guided by the best standards of accuracy, fairness and context.”

 

Myanmar

The Irrawaddy: “Burma Army Files Lawsuit Against Local Media Outlet

“The Burma Army has filed a lawsuit against local media outlet 7 Day Daily for publishing a story in April which included former general Shwe Mann’s message to graduates of the Defense Services Academy, claiming the story could lead to the disintegration of the military.”

See also:
Military, 7 Day Daily Settle Libel Case

 

International Press Institute: “Myanmar journalists accused of cyber-crime over op-ed

“A case alleging that Myanmar news outlet Mizzima Media committed a cyber-crime by publishing a column online criticising a rival media outlet’s reporting risks setting a dangerous precedent and should be dismissed immediately, the International Press Institute (IPI) said today (27 June 2016).”

 

The Irrawaddy: “Rangoon Authorities Ban Press Conference on Burma Army Torture

“The Rangoon division government has forced the cancellation of a press conference organized for Monday (27 June 2016) by the Ta’ang Women’s Organization (TWO) for the launch of a report on human rights abuses by the Burma Army in northern Shan State, according to the TWO.”

 

Narinjara: “BNI officials meet Myanmar information minister, bat for ethnic media development

“A delegation of Burma News Intentional (BNI) recently met the Myanmar Union information minister U Pe Myint in the national capital city of Naypyidaw and discussed various issues relating to the development of ethnic media groups in the Southeast Asian country.”

 

Human Rights Watch: “‘They can arrest you at any time’

“This report examines how Burmese governments have used and abused these laws and the ways in which the laws themselves fall far short of international standards.”

See also:
Mizzima: “Dismantle Infrastructure of Repression – HRW
The Irrawaddy: “Rights Group Pushes for Freedom of Speech in Burma
Reuters. “Myanmar should dismantle laws blocking free speech: Human Rights Watch

 

Philippines

Quartz: “The Philippines’ new anti-press president will broadcast his inauguration on Facebook

“Sarah N. Repucci, the director of the Freedom in the World and Freedom of the Press thinks that live streaming the inauguration doesn’t eliminate concern for limited means of dissemination. ‘Still, it is becoming increasingly common for leaders to use social media to control the messages that are reaching the public,’ Repucci said.”

 

The Manila Times: “Impunity, like crime, is a national emergency

“President-elect (Rodrigo) Duterte and his advisers must understand that at the heart of the impunity issue is the question whether the Philippines really adheres to the rule of law.”

See also:
Asia Pacific Report: “Duterte’s tough stance, impunity big challenges for media in Philippines
MindaNews. “COMMENT: A Sober View of Duterte-Media Tiff

 

Singapore

The New York Times: “Singapore Website Founder Jailed for Anti-Foreign Content

“A court in Singapore on Tuesday (28 June 2016) sentenced the founder of a website that published anti-foreign content to eight months in jail after he pleaded guilty to sedition.”

 

The Online Citizen: “Singapore’s stance at UPR is a disturbing indication of its unwillingness to work with international human rights processes.

“Those rejected include key recommendations on freedom of expression, assembly and association. Existing legal restrictions on these rights far exceed what is permissible under international human rights law. We call on the state to review all laws and policies that impose undue restrictions.”

 

Thailand

Prachatai English. “Climate of fear not our fault: election commissioner

“An election commissioner has claimed that the public trend to self-censor their opinion towards the charter draft because of the climate of fear which was not the commission’s fault, adding that if people want to know what exactly they can or cannot do during the referendum, they should better asked the junta.”

See also:
Freedom of expression unnecessary for Thailand: deputy junta head
Anadolu Agency: “Free expression called for ahead of Thai charter vote
Khaosod English: “International concerns mount over referendum restrictions, arrests
Asian Correspondent: “Thai PM says using Facebook Live to air political views may be ‘unlawful’

 

The Nation: “Ex-Asean boss Surin urges Thai media to help fuel return to democracy

“Speaking at an event marking the 36th anniversary of the Confederation of Thai Journalists (CTJ) yesterday, ex-Asean secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan said the Thai media had a commitment to help bring back the democratic space in society so the country would not return to the fragile state of the past 15 years.”

 

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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