WEEKLY MEDIA ROUNDUP (4 – 10 June 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)

[Indonesia] Open Letter: Use the Press Law to investigate intimidation of journalist


[Philippines] President-elect’s pronouncements endorse impunity

See also:
Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR)
Protecting Journalists, Protecting Democracy


[Thailand] Journalist’s car shot at

Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR)
[Philippines] Tabloid Reporter Shot Dead in Manila; Second Case of Journalist Killed in 2016



Human Rights Watch. “Dispatches: Indonesia’s Journalists Under Threat From Militants

“‘Pro-Communist.’ ‘LGBT Lover.’ These were some of the epithets – among a flood of threats of violence transmitted via social media – that have sent Indonesian journalist Febriana Firdaus into hiding for the past week.”

See also:
International Press Institute: “Indonesia reporter in hiding after harassment campaign


The Jakarta Post: “Experts call for easing internet censorship

“Several media experts have demanded the government ease internet censorship due to the enforcement of the 2008 Information and Electronic Transaction (ITE) Law.”

See also:
Activists urge govt to ensure net neutrality in Indonesia



New Straits Times: “Equality before the law

“According to the court, in his official capacity, he has no locus standi to sue Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd for defamation because the criticism published had to do with his official duties. It follows then that the media company, in its actions, is fulfilling its democratic duties.”

See also:
malaysiandigest.com: “Public Officials Cannot Sue Media For Defamation When Criticised In Their Official Capacity


Free Malaysia Today: “Najib fails in bid to skip court for defamation suit

“Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has failed in a bid to skip testifying in his defamation lawsuit against PAS-owned newspaper, Harakah Daily.”



The Irrawaddy: “BBC Journalist to Appeal Conviction

“A Mandalay-based journalist working for the BBC’s Burmese-language news service, who was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment with hard labor on police assault charges, plans to file an appeal next week, according to his lawyer.”

See also:
International Press Institute: “BBC Myanmar reporter sentenced for scuffle with police
Frontier Myanmar: “Appeal planned for jailed BBC reporter as press groups slam sentence



Manila Bulletin: “Duterte does not endorse summary killings – spokesman

Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte’s designated spokesperson Salvador Panelo: “He does not condone the killing of journalists nor any citizen for that matter, regardless of its purpose.”

See also:
GMA News Online. “Duterte camp: Unfortunate UN’s Ban believed ‘incorrect news’ on media killings
Philippine Daily Inquirer. “Panelo to media: Your fault again
The Manila Times: “Extra-judicial killings ‘not endorsed’ by Duterte
Asian Journal. “Duterte: I do not condone killing of journalists
BusinessWorld: “Media and power


Inquirer.net. “AlterMidya: FB’s arbitrary removal of journos’ posts ‘disturbing’

“A group of independent and progressive members of alternative media on Thursday (9 June 2016) described as ‘disturbing’ Facebook’s arbitrary take down of posts by some journalists.”


Rappler.com: “What happened to FOI under Aquino?

“The non-passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill under his term is considered as among Benigno Aquino III’s biggest failures as president since it was among his campaign promises.”

See also:
BusinessWorld. “Freedom of Information Act: Is it long overdue?


Philippine Daily Inquirer. “COMMENTARY: Media and Independence

“While the means of disseminating news and information have dramatically changed over the last century, the important role played by media has not…. In fact, media, especially one that is independent, and not beholden to those holding political power, remains the best defense for the political and socioeconomic freedoms of the citizens they serve.”


ComputerWeekly.com: “Philippines government data breach is a warning to Asean region

“The huge data breach suffered by the Philippine Commission on the Elections (Comelec) in April 2016 – just one month before an election – is a strong warning to organisations across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) region to put in place security technology and policies to deter such attacks.”



The Independent: “What to make of Amos Yee and his arrest

“The arrest of Amos Yee on charges of wounding religious feelings has caused much debate over the freedom of expression in Singapore. The 17-year-old is known for creating and posting online videos mocking Christianity and Islam, using religious symbols such as the crucifix, Bible and Koran in his latest videos.”



Asia Sentinel: “Thai Junta to Crack Down Harder on Internet Users

“The Thai junta, which already administers one of the world’s toughest measures against supposed misuse of computers, appears on the verge going to frantic lengths to stiffen the law even more with, among other things, an amendment that could give the government the ability to force internet users to decrypt their transmissions.”


Bangkok Post: “Pheu Thai calls for full return of freedom of expression

“The Pheu Thai Party has called for the government and the National Council for Peace and Order to return to the people the right to express their opinions on the draft charter without restrictions.”



Viet Nam News: “PM hails media role in helping businesses

“Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc is urging the media to serve as a bridge linking the country’s businesses and the State.”



Please refer to this blog (http://seapamonitor.blogspot.com/?view=flipcard) 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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