WEEKLY MEDIA ROUNDUP (4 – 10 March 2017)

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)

Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR)
[Cambodia] Joint Statement: 78 international and Cambodian civil society groups condemn the continued arbitrary detention of the #FREETHE5KH detainees and call for an immediate end to ongoing judicial harassment and violence against human rights defenders in Cambodia


[Thailand] On Press Day: Media must continue to be free and independent for democracy
See also:
Bangkok Post: “‘Thairath’ senior reporter elected Thai Journalists Association head



The Phnom Penh Post: “UN defence of free press comes amid gov’t threats

“The UN’s human rights body came out against so-called ‘fake news’ while staunchly defending freedom of the press yesterday, in a message seemingly aimed at the administrations of Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump – albeit one that resonates in Cambodia after recent government statements.”

See also:
PM defends crackdowns, offers warning to analyst
Southeast Asia Globe. “The tangled web: how leaks, lies and fake news took over Cambodian politics



The Jakarta Post: “AJI protests banning of live broadcasting at e-KTP graft trials

“Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) has protested the decision of the Central Jakarta District Court for prohibiting TV stations to broadcast the high-profile trial on alleged corruption in the procurement of electronic identity cards (e-KTP).”

See also:
Court bans live TV coverage from e-KTP corruption trial



The Irrawaddy: “Myanmar Now Journalist Sued Under Telecommunications Law

“A Mandalay resident filed a lawsuit against Myanmar Now chief correspondent Ko Swe Win on Tuesday (7 March 2017), accusing the reporter of insulting nationalist monk U Wirathu…. U Kyaw Myo Shwe, a follower of U Wirathu, opened a case under Burma’s Telecommunications Law at a police station in Mandalay’s Maha Aungmyay Township.”

See also:
Frontier Myanmar: “Prominent reporter refuses to apologise after Ma Ba Tha files defamation suit” ; “Complainant seeks withdrawal of Ko Swe Win defamation charge
Coconuts Yangon: “Myanmar Now editor charged under 66(D) for insulting 969 leader Wirathu
Mizzima: “Reporter has no plan to apologise to U Wirathu
Radio Free Asia: “Myanmar Journalist Faces Defamation Case After Slamming Nationalist Monk” ; “Ma Ba Tha Follower Withdraws Lawsuit Against Myanmar Reporter



Channel News Asia: “Singapore to better support media professionals, freelancers

“A skills framework for media professionals along with better support for media freelancers are some of the measures in the pipeline at the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), said Minister of State Chee Hong Tat in Parliament on Monday (Mar 6).”

See also:
Today Online: “IMDA launches mediation subsidy for media freelancers



Bangkok Post: “Regime puts journalists in the crosshairs

“Freedom of expression is under threat in the post-coup era, and now Thai journalists are in the firing line. Since last month, the nation’s media circle has been shaken by the ‘bill on rights protection, ethical promotion and standards of media professionals’ — the media rights protection bill — proposed by the media reform steering panel of the National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA)…. The name of the bill sounds optimistic. It purports to improve the media industry. But on closer inspection, the bill could strew obstacles on the road towards democracy.”

See also:
Khaosod English: “No state role in media regulation, experts say
The Nation: “Reform panel tinkers with committee setting up media council


Bangkok Post: “Isoc drops defamation suit over torture disclosures

“The Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) has agreed to drop all defamation charges against three human rights activists after the two sides agreed to work together to prove 54 cases of alleged torture and human rights violations among security suspects in Isoc’s custody.”

See also:
Amnesty International: “Thailand drops defamation case against human rights activists
Human Rights Watch. “Thailand: Defamation Cases Dropped Against Activists


United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO): “Women Make the News – Thailand

“The Women Make the News – Thailand database is a tool to advance gender equality in the media and society. It provides journalists with a list of contacts of female expert sources to feature more women in news media…. Women Make the News – Thailand is part of UNESCO’s global Women Make the News initiative rooted in UNESCO’s mandate to promote freedom of expression and to advocate for a free, independent and pluralistic media landscape.”



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

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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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