WEEKLY MEDIA ROUNDUP (3 – 9 December 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)

IFEX. “Asia Pacific: NGOs targeted, military abuses suppressed, Ampatuan victims remembered

“Media freedom groups take part in global campaign on safety of journalists in Pakistan and Philippines; Malaysian authorities clamp down on freedom of assembly; women journalists and activists as human rights defenders in Burma.”



The Jakarta Post: “Rising hostility toward journalists rings alarm

“Hostility toward journalists is alarmingly on the rise as Muslim conservatives have accused several media outlets of biased reporting in the blasphemy case of the incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama…. The third-largest anti-Ahok demonstration on Friday in Central Jakarta, where more than 500,000 peopled flocked to the National Monument (Monas) complex in what they called a ‘peaceful rally’, saw another series of intimidations carried out by dozens of protesters against television crews reporting live.”

See also:
Tempo.co: “AJI Jakarta Condemns Journalist Attack During Jakarta Rally


The Jakarta Post: “Press exempt from right to be forgotten

“Amid growing criticism from rights activists, the government has softened its stance and announced that internet content generated by press institutions is not among the information that should be deleted under the controversial right to be forgotten provision guaranteed by the revised Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law.”


The Jakarta Post: “Time for stringent standards for defamation

“The use and misuse of the defamation clauses in the newly amended Information and Electronic Transactions (ITE) Law have reached an alarming level…. As most Indonesians spend at least four hours a day on the internet, as an active user of various social media platforms, one has to be more careful of the potential of becoming the next victim.”

See also:
National scene: Inmate accused of defaming police chief



Malay Mail Online: “Malaysia joins Indonesia, Brunei as worst regional freedom of thought offenders in 2016

“Malaysia has been rated as ‘grave violators’ of the rights and treatment of the non-religious in this year’s Freedom of Thought Report by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU)…. The country joins Muslim-majority neighbours Indonesia and Brunei, which were similarly ranked as the worst offenders in the Southeast Asian region.”



Eleven. “NLD failed to reform: media watchdog

“Media watchdog PEN Myanmar has released a report saying freedom of speech is contracting under the National League for Democracy government.”



MindaNews: “3 editors of weekly paper in Surigao sued for libel

“Three editors of a weekly newspaper were reported to have gone into hiding after learning a warrant of arrest had been issued against them for libel.”


GMA News Online. “Andanar: Much to be learned on FOI practice as info requests pour in

“After President Rodrigo Duterte signed his Executive Order on the Freedom of Information, the government has been flooded with requests for information, official records, and other public documents…. But, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar admitted on Sunday that there is still a lot more to learn before the administration could declare a “100 percent” compliance with the EO on FOI.”

See also:
The Philippine Star: “Palace OKs only 4 of 140 FOI requests
ABS-CBN News: “The FOI under Duterte’s administration
BusinessWorld: “FOI Web site gets 150 data requests



Prachatai English: “Anti-junta activist arrested for allegedly defaming King Rama X

“The Thai police have arrested a leading member of an anti-junta activist group for sharing a biography of the new King of Thailand published by the BBC Thai…. At about 8: 45 am on 3 December 2016, police officers arrested Jatuphat Boonpattaraksa, aka. Pai Daodin, while he was participating in a rally with a group of Buddhist monks in the northeastern province of Chaiyaphum.”

See also:
Bangkok Post: “Pai Dao Din bailed after lese majeste charge
Khaosod English: “Activist ‘Pai Dao Din’ arrested for lese majeste” ; “Activist says she faces arrest for sharing stories online
Global Voices: “Activist Arrested on Royal Insult Charges for Sharing BBC Article About Thailand’s New King
Reuters: “Thai activist ‘first to be arrested for royal insult’ under new king
Deutsche Welle: “Prominent Thai activist arrested for alleged defamation of new king
Al Jazeera: “Thailand stands by crackdown on ‘illegal’ news


Bangkok Post: “Government targets BBC Thai

“The government plans to take legal action against the Thai team of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for its recent online report on the profile of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun.”

See also:
The Nation: “Prawit takes tough line on alleged BBC Thai lese majeste” ; “BBC ‘willing to cooperate’ in activist’s lese majeste case
Prachatai English: “Junta to prosecute BBC Thai over King Rama X biography
The Straits Times: “BBC profile on new Thai king sparks probe for defamation
Anadolu Agency: “Thailand to probe profile of new king for lese-majeste
Khaosod English: “Authorities visit BBC Thai offices, block article online” ; “Police say they didn’t visit BBC Thai after Deputy PM says they did


Prachatai English: “Witness of 2010 political violence gets suspended jail term for defaming military

“A criminal court has handed a two-year suspended jail term to a witness of Thailand’s April-May 2010 political violence accused of defaming the Thai Army…. On 8 December 2016, the Criminal Court of Thailand sentenced Thanaporn (surname withheld due to privacy concerns) to two years of imprisonment with a 100,000 baht fine, according to iLaw. The court suspended the jail term for two years.”


Bangkok Post. “Editorial: A candle for free speech

“Freedom of the press is an automatic adjunct to freedom of speech. Without it, neither exists. A media that is owned, controlled, directed or threatened by a government is, by definition, not free.”



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

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