WEEKLY MEDIA ROUNDUP (26 March – 1 April 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] Courts drop Par Gyi murder case

Burma News International (BNI)
[Burma] Journal Editor Charged with Defamation Released on Bail

[Vietnam] Unidentified men beat journalist in Hanoi

 

IFEX

Ensnared netizens and Pacific summits

“Cases involving online content deemed challenging the state in strong one-party countries in the Asia & the Pacific featured in March.”

 

Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)

Loyalty to politicians gets the media nowhere – a comment by CIJ

“It is time to remove partisan politics and government ownership from the media. But it is also time for the media community to take the bold step and begin pledging allegiance to the profession and the public.”

 

Southeast Asia

SF Gate. “Asia: A look at where journalists face renewed pressure

“In many countries across Asia, governments are growing less tolerant of critical reporting, even arresting journalists and closing media outlets in some cases.”

 

Indonesia

The Jakarta Post: “KPI proposes censorship of TV programs

“…the KPI (Indonesian Broadcasting Commission) wanted the authority to oversee the content of all television programs, including the power to censor content before it was aired.”

 

The Jakarta Post: “Jokowi must end ‘permit politics’

“President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo is in a position to end police disregard for the freedom of expression. Yet Jokowi is not proving a staunch defender of this right himself, certainly when it comes to a Jakarta tradition — the Kamisan human rights observation held outside the president’s ‘office’.”

 

Malaysia

Malay Mail Online: “Media groups to launch job portal for retrenched journalists

“A media group announced today that a job repository listing will be launched this Friday to help journalists who were recently laid off due to the closures and restructuring of several news organisations.”

 

Myanmar

The Irrawaddy: “Chaw Sandi Tun, Famed Facebook Antagonizer, Released From Prison

“The Maupin Prison in Irrawaddy Division on Wednesday (30 March 2016) set free Chaw Sandi Tun, the 25-year-old National League for Democracy (NLD) supporter who was jailed last year for an online posting of a photo collage deemed defamatory to the military.”

See also:
Coconuts Yangon: “Arrested for Facebook post, aid worker Patrick Khum Jaa Lee has been released

 

The Irrawaddy. “Incoming Info Minister Pe Myint: ‘I Will Ensure Press Freedom’

Burma’s next information minister Pe Myint on “press freedom and prospects for Burma’s state-owned and private media”

 

Myanmar Times: “Comedians face charges

“Ko Lin Lin, chair of the Myochit Thway Dhamma Network, said the comedy quartet, known as Harbelay, had insulted Buddhism by playing dancing and singing monks in the show.”

 

Philippines

Philippine Daily Inquirer: “Aquino cites key role of media in May polls

“President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday (30 March 2016) called on the media to give Filipinos a ‘just, comprehensive accounting’ of the May elections, emphasizing journalists’ responsibility the world over in nation-building.”

See also:
Rappler.com: “After joking about killing loudmouths, Duterte vows media protection

 

Inquirer.net: “Mindless mercies

“Nothing actually was special about Marcos’ censorship—it was standard. Censorship can scarcely be improved on; it works perfectly enough as it is.”

 

Singapore

Asia Sentinel: “Singapore Extends Crackdown on Internet Journalism

“The sentencing of (Ai) Takagi is the latest in a sudden rush of harsh and seemingly unprecedented charges and other actions against independent Internet sites, impelling a wide range of critics to charge the Singaporean government with draconian tactics to shut off dissent.”

 

Thailand

Prachatai English: “Junta bans journalist from attending press freedom day overseas

“Pravit Rojanaphruk, 48, a well-known anti-junta journalist from Khaosod English, on Wednesday morning, 30 March 2016, posted a message on his Facebook profile that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) had prohibited him from attending a conference on World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, to be held in Finland.”

See also:
International Press Institute: “Thai journalist banned from travelling to UNESCO conference
Global Voices: “Thailand Stops Journalist From Attending World Press Freedom Day in Finland
ABC News: “Thailand bans journalist Pravit Rojanaphruk from travelling to UN event

 

Star Tribune: “Thai junta chief gives military broad new police-like powers

“Since toppling an elected government in the 2014 coup, (Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha) has restricted freedom of speech, barred public protests and relentlessly pursued critics by detaining journalists, academics and other perceived dissidents at military bases for so-called ‘attitude adjustment.'”

See also:
Prachatai English: “Deputy junta head intimidates Bangkok Post journalist

 

Prachatai English: “Journalists summoned into military barrack over red bowl news

“Thairath news on Wednesday, 30 March 2016, reported that police officers in Chiang Mai at 1:30 pm contacted the editorial team of Thairath in the province and ordered them to send Chaipin Kattiya, head of the local Thairath news crew, and another Thairath staff member to Kawila Military Base for a discussion (over a news report about a red bowl inscribed with Thai new year greetings from former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra).”

See also:
Khaosod English: “Woman Charged With Sedition For Posing With Red Bucket

 

Vietnam

Radio Free Asia: “Vietnam Jails Blogger, 3 Land Activists for ‘Anti-State Propaganda’

“The Ho Chi Minh City people’s court sentenced blogger Nguyen Ngoc Gia to a four-year prison term with another three years on probation for carrying out “propaganda against the state” according to article 88 of the penal code, RFA’s Vietnamese Service has learned.”

See also:
Business Standard: “Vietnam jails four bloggers for anti-state propaganda
Committee to Protect Journalists: “Blogger sentenced amid clampdown in Vietnam

 

NOTE

Please refer to this blog for other media, press freedom, and free expression  news 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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