WEEKLY MEDIA ROUNDUP (5 – 11 August 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)

Alerts:

[Philippines]

Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR)

Tabloid Columnist Gunned Down in Sultan Kudarat

 

Volunteer Broadcaster Shot Dead in Zamboanga del Sur

See also:

National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)
Statement: NUJP condemns killing of two journalists in Mindanao

 

[Thailand]

Journalist faces a possible 14-year jail term

 

PeaceTV suspension shows NBTC’s tremendous powers

 

Investigative reporter detained

See also:

Thai Journalists Association (TJA)
แถลงการณ์ฝ่ายสิทธิเสรีภาพและการปฏิรูปสื่อ สมาคมนักข่าวนักหนังสือพิมพ์แห่งประเทศไทย เรื่อง หยุดคุกคามการปฏิบัติหน้าที่ของผู้สื่อข่าว

 

Report:

[Cambodia]
Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR)
Fundamental Freedoms Monitoring Project

 

Southeast Asia

ABS-CBN News: “ASEAN security forum agrees to use social media to combat terrorism

“Foreign ministers from over two dozen countries joining in a major regional security meeting agreed Monday (7 August 2017) to counter terrorism by using social media amid raising concerns over possible threats of foreign terrorist fighters to the region.”

 

Cambodia

The Phnom Penh Post: “Cambodia’s ‘robust’ laws on freedom of expression are routinely misapplied, says report

“The first annual report of the Fundamental Freedoms Monitoring Project by the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR), Adhoc and the Solidarity Center examined freedom of association, assembly and expression across Cambodia, and found hundreds of restrictions or violations of fundamental freedoms over the past year.”

See also:

The Cambodia Daily. “Report: New Laws Undercut Constitutional Freedoms, Rights

 

Reuters: “Critic of Cambodian leader jailed for 1-1/2 years for defamation

“Cambodia jailed a political analyst for 1-1/2 years on Thursday (10 August 2017), for accusing Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling party of orchestrating the 2016 murder of a prominent government critic…. The sentence is the latest blow to Cambodia’s opposition, which has accused the government of intimidating its activists and using the judiciary to silence critics ahead of a general election next year.”

 

Indonesia

TEMPO.CO: “Google, Govt Join Hands to Censor Negative Contents

“Google Asia Pacific and Indonesian Government are working together in blocking negative contents such as radicalism, terrorism, pornography, and hoax. Several internet providers, as well as other over the top industry apps will also join hands in this program.”

See also:

The Australian: “Google, Twitter to vet online content in Indonesia

 

Malaysia

Malaysiakini: “Hadi draws first blood in lawsuit against Sarawak Report editor

“PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has drawn first blood in his defamation suit against Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown…. Rewcastle-Brown has been ordered by the London courts to pay Hadi at least GB£15,000 in costs.”

 

Netral English: “Malaysia Seeks to Learn How Indonesia Maintains Press Freedom

“There are many things the Malaysian press community want to learn from Indonesia in order to improve the quality of the press in the neighboring country. Starting from the effort to maintain freedom of the press, to the strategy to face the invasion of new media that threatens the mainstream press.”

 

The Star Online. “Ahmad Maslan: MCMC should act against online libel

“The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) should take firm action against parties abusing the Internet and social media to spread libel, including those defaming the government…. Umno information technology bureau chairman Datuk Ahmad Maslan (pic) said as the 14th general election approaches, the dissemination of false information has picked up, confusing the people and planting hatred against Barisan Nasional leaders.”

 

Myanmar

The Diplomat: “Myanmar’s Media in Chains

“Less than ten years ago, censorship was a common tactic used under the military regime: student protests, worker’s strikes, or any pro-democracy uprising were blacked out in the press…. What is shocking is that now, under the current democratically elected government, journalists are still facing intimidation, threats, and restrictions from reporting in certain areas in the country, creating black spots of information.”

 

Reuters: “Myanmar’s Suu Kyi turns to state media amid fears for newly gained freedoms

“Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has turned to state-run media inherited from the former junta in an overhaul of her PR approach, after warnings her agenda is being swamped by crises and amid fears among rights groups of eroding free speech.”

 

Philippines

Philippine Daily Inquirer: “Journalist killed in Sultan Kudarat

“Unidentified men shot and killed a journalist in the town of President Quirino in Sultan Kudarat on Monday (7 August 2017) morning…. Senior Superintendent Raul Supiter, provincial police commander, identified the victim as Leodoro Diaz, a columnist of Sapol Newspaper and reporter of Radio Mindanao Network.”

See also:

philstar.com: “Journalist gunned down in Sultan Kudarat
InterAksyon.com: “P300K bounty raised for killers of Mindanao journalist
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ): “Reporter shot and killed in the Philippines

 

Philippine Daily Inquirer: “Radyo ng Bayan anchor gunned down in Zamboanga del Sur

“A 46-year-old media practitioner was shot and killed in Molave town in Zamboanga del Sur on Sunday afternoon…. SPO2 Reynaldo Hilot and SPO1 Genmaidee Jabello of the Molave Municipal Police Station, in their report to the regional police office, identified the victim as Rudy Dahunan Alicaway.”

See also:

RMN Networks: “gunmen with 9mm pistol kill newsman

 

The Manila Times: “Task force vows to act on killing of 2 newsmen

“The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) has vowed to act immediately on the recent killings of two Mindanao journalists…. The PTFoMS on Tuesday (8 August 2017) said it ‘deeply mourns and condemns in the strongest possible terms’ the killing of reporter and Sapol News Bulletin columnist Leodoro Diaz and Rudy Dahunan Alicaway,106.9 DXPB Radyo ng Bayanas anchorman.”

See also:

msn news: “Two journalists in two days murdered in Philippines
Human Rights Watch (HRW): “Philippine Journalist Killings Demand State Action

 

The Philippine Star: “Tabloid columnist survives shooting in Batangas

“A tabloid columnist and his companion survived an attack by a lone gunman in Batangas City on Wednesday (9 August 2017)…. Crisenciano ‘Cris’ Ibon, 65, sustained a gunshot wound in the back with the bullet exiting his left chest, but doctors declared him out of danger at the Camillus Hospital.”

 

Philippine Daily Inquirer: “Libel case filed by Peter Lim’s brother vs Cebu radioman junked

“A veteran radio broadcaster was cleared of libel charges filed by Wellington Lim, brother of businessman Peter Lim who was publicly identified by President Rodrigo Duterte as among the country’s biggest drug lords…. In an order, Judge Sylva Aguirre-Paderanga of the Regional Trial Court Branch 16 in Cebu City granted the plea of hard-hitting broadcaster Cirse ‘Choy’ Torralba to dismiss the case against him.”

See also:

SunStar Cebu: “Court dismisses libel raps vs broadcaster

 

Rappler.com: “Andanar approves ‘interim policy’ for accrediting bloggers

“While a final policy is still being crafted, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar signed an ‘interim’ policy for accrediting bloggers to cover President Rodrigo Duterte’s events…. The document, entitled ‘Interim Social Media Practitioner Accreditation’ was released by Malacañang on Wednesday, August 9.”

See also:

Nothing stopping accredited bloggers from cursing, lying online, Malacañang says
INQUIRER.net: “Social media policy mum on practitioners’ use of profanities
The Straits Times: “Bloggers in Philippines to get press passes to cover President Duterte
BusinessMirror: “PCOO exec, media brat pack clash over DO on presidential coverage
philstar.com: “ASEAN organizers welcome bloggers to accredited media pool

 

People’s Television (PTVph). “Read: Press release from the Office of the PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar

“Presidential Communicaitons Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Monday (14 August 2017) personally led an investigation on the recent controversies involving the Philippine News Agency (PNA) and vowed to implement remedial measures to further improve and enhance the government news portal.”

See also:

Rappler.com: “Philippine News Agency’s story on labor dep’t uses Dole pineapple logo
Manila Bulletin: “Andanar threatens to send erring PNA editors to Basilan or Jolo
philstar.com: “Andanar forms PNA editorial board after series of blunders

 

Thailand

Khaosod English: “Khaosod English reporter charged with sedition, computer crimes

“He (Pravit Rojanaphruk) said police told him he would be tried in two separate cases. One will be for two Facebook posts in February 2016 that were critical of the draft constitution the regime was trying to win public support for. The second case involves five Facebook posts in June and July which police said were critical of junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha and his military government…. Pravit will be tried for both sedition and violating the Computer Crime Act in both cases. If found guilty in both he faces up to 14 years in prison.”

See also:

Bangkok Post: “Journalist Pravit charged with sedition for online comments
The Nation: “Anti-junta journalist willing to pay the price’ as he is charged with sedition
Thai PBS: “Authorities urged to drop charges against Khaosod columnist
Global Voices: “Thai Journalist and Two Other Critics of Military-Led Government Face Sedition Charges Over Facebook Posts
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ): “Thai columnist Pravit Rojanaphruk charged with two cases of sedition
Human Rights Watch (HRW). “Thailand: Drop Charges for Critical Facebook Posts

 

Bangkok Post: “Peace TV banned for one month

“The country’s telecommunications regulator has moved to suspend the broadcast licence held by Peace TV, a satellite-based television channel linked to the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), for a full month.”

See also:

The Nation: “Peace TV’s broadcasting licence suspended for 30 days
Prachatai English: “Peace TV faces third broadcasting ban
Global Voices: “Thailand’s Broadcasting Authority Suspends TV Network That Called Junta Leader a Dictator

 

The Nation: “Reporter busted snooping around Patcharawat’s home

“An Isra news agency reporter investigating former police chief Patcharawat Wongsuwan’s personal assets has been charged with entering private property without permission…. Nattaporn Veeranant is free on bail after being arrested over the Wednesday (9 August 2017) night incident at an apartment building in Bangkok’s Ratchadapisek area.”

See also:

Anti-graft agency probes ex-chief as reporter charged with trespass” ; “Reporter charged investigating former chief’s assets

 

Bangkok Post: “61-year-old gets 20 years for lese majeste

“A 61-year-old man was jailed for 18 years on Wednesday (9 August 2017) for posting six video clips deemed insulting to the monarchy, his lawyer said.”

See also:

Khaosod English: “Man gets 20 years for sharing anti-monarchy audio clips

 

Nikkei Asian Review: “Facebook, YouTube block access in Thailand to 1,800 pages

“Thailand’s telecom regulator is satisfied with Facebook and YouTube after the social media companies blocked access from Thailand to over 1,800 pages over the past three months — although this is only about half the number deemed illegal under local laws…. Under Thai law, illegal pages include those that are offensive to the monarchy, threaten national security, contain sexual content, or promote gambling.”

See also:

BenarNews: “Thailand Wants Facebook, Other Social Media Firms to Remove More URLs

 

Bangkok Post: “NBTC to do a U-turn on OTT category

“The telecom regulator will once again retreat from the over-the-top regulatory framework it proposed earlier, doing a U-turn on the categorisation of OTT video-on-demand services as a broadcast business.”

 

Khaosod English: “Court refuses to lift ban on ‘Shakespeare must die’

“A film banned five years ago for touching a third-rail of taboo topics will remain that way, a Bangkok court ruled Friday (11 August 2017)…. The Administrative Court this morning refused to lift the ban on ‘Shakespeare Must Die,’ a now-infamous film on politics and black magic based on William Shakespeare’s tragedy ‘Macbeth.'”

See also:

Prachatai English: “Court confirms ban on film related to 1976 student massacre

 

Vietnam

Human Rights Watch (HRW). “Australia: Press Vietnam on Rights | Urge Hanoi at Talks to Address Assaults on, Jailing of Activists

“The government of Vietnam has a long record of limiting freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly for groups that criticize the government. Those brave enough to speak out often face multiple forms of police harassment, including intimidation of family members, arbitrary prohibitions on travel within Vietnam or abroad, brutal physical assaults, and fines.”

 

NOTE

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

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