WEEKLY MEDIA ROUNDUP (8 – 14 July 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)

“COCONET (Connecting Communities & Networks) Southeast Asia Digital Rights Camp: Call for Applications


Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR)
Dumaguete Radioman Acquitted of Libel



The Phnom Penh Post: “Woman arrested for Kem Ley remarks

“A woman who used her Facebook page to accuse Prime Minister Hun Sen of killing Kem Ley was arrested yesterday (12 July 2017), the latest in a crackdown on a growing list of critics who have linked the political analyst’s assassination to the Cambodian government.”


The Phnom Penh Post: “Posts threatening life of PM under investigation

“The Interior Ministry’s Anti-Terrorism Department yesterday (13 July 2017) opened an investigation into Facebook posts on the page of a Preah Sihanouk province man threatening to shoot Prime Minister Hun Sen in the head…. Casino driver Pich Roth Tha’s first post, which went viral on Wednesday, featured a selfie next to a picture of a handgun. Addressing the prime minister directly, it said: ‘Hun Sen, you kill too many Khmer [people], it will not be long before you will be dead by my hand.'”



BenarNews: “Indonesia Blocks Telegram to Curb Radical Propaganda

“Indonesia on Friday (14 July 2017) blocked the popular encrypted messaging service Telegram, citing concerns that terrorists were using it to spread radical propaganda…. Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications and Informatics had requested the Internet Service Provider to block 11 domain names used by Telegram after collecting evidence that many channels on the messaging app had been promoting extremist ideologies, said Semuel A. Pangerapan, the ministry’s director-general.”



Free Malaysia Today: “Court reduces damages to RM150,000 for Guan Eng in libel suit

“The Court of Appeal has cut by half to RM150,000 the damages awarded to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng who earlier this year won a defamation suit against an Umno-linked publication…. A three-man bench chaired by Mohd Zawawi Salleh, which partially allowed the appeal by New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad (NSTP), said the RM300,000 awarded by the High Court to Lim was excessive.”


The Star Online. “Najib vs Mkini suit: High Court advises parties to settle out of court

“The High Court has advised parties in a libel suit filed by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak against Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd and two of its editors to go for an out-of-court settlement.”


Malaysiakini. “Anwar: TV3’s Lahad Datu incursion report seriously slandered me

“Former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim views as serious slander and defamatory accusation a prime time news report by in Sistem Televisyen (M) Bhd (TV3) that linked him with the militant incursion into Lahad Datu, Sabah…. Anwar, 69, said the report carried by TV3 on March 5, 2013, injured him and Pakatan Rakyat as many people were confused and poisoned by the propaganda as it was close to the general election held that year.”


The Star Online: “(Opinion) Reviewing film censorship in Malaysia

“Any law that makes state approval a pre-condition to exercising one’s freedom should be challenged as violating human rights and deemed unconstitutional…. With such laws, the state decides which part of the film is suitable for public. The state can also decide to censor parts of a film which it does not like or is uncomfortable with…. Instead of using censorship, we should instead emphasise film classification or ratings. The Board already issues film classifications based on the contents of a film to be shown in cinemas. By using a robust film rating system, we would avoid the need for censorship.”



The Irrawaddy. “Legal Expert: Press Council Must Defend Detained Journalists

“Legal consultant U Khin Maung Myint discussed with The Irrawaddy the case of three journalists, from The Irrawaddy and the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), charged under Article 17(1) of the colonial-era Unlawful Associations Act and how the Myanmar Press Council must stand up for and defend the detained reporters.”

See also:

Free Speech Advocates: Proposed Changes Make Telecoms Law ‘Worse’
Myanmar Times: “Democratic blackout
Scroll.in: “Faced with state repression, journalists in Myanmar push back strongly
ARTICLE 19. “(Statement) Myanmar: Proposed changes to Telecommunications Law fail to protect free expression


Reuters: “Myanmar escorts media to conflict-torn region, vows ‘no restrictions’

“Myanmar pledged on Wednesday (12 July 2017) ‘no restrictions’ on journalists visiting the troubled state of Rakhine this week, in the first official trip to include foreign reporters to mostly Rohingya Muslim villages affected by violence since October…. Eighteen Myanmar nationals and foreigners representing international media, including Reuters, arrived in the state capital of Sittwe on Wednesday ahead of a government-escorted visit to the northern areas of Buthidaung and Maungdaw, where most residents are stateless Rohingyas.”



GMA News Online: “‘SOCIAL MEDIA MAGNIFIED HARM’ | Legal experts weigh in on filing of online libel case vs. ‘joking’ depositor

“Legal experts on Friday (14 July 2017) weighed in on the filing of an online libel complaint against a man for falsely claiming that his cash deposits ballooned to P12 billion following a system glitch that hit the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) last month…. Filing a complaint with the Manila Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said Daniel Angelo Salasalan should be held liable for online libel under Section 4(c)(4) of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 for giving media false information about his account which could be detrimental to the reputation of BPI and the banking system.”

See also:

NBI charges man for viral post claiming he had P12-B in BPI account


SunStar Cebu. “OPINION | Nalzaro: Conflict of interest, rape and libel

“Three issues that affects the broadcast media in Cebu surfaced recently. These involve conflict of interest, alleged rape and libel.”



Khaosod English: “Fugitive journo says he obtained asylum seeker status in US

“A fugitive anti-junta journalist said Thursday (13 July 2017) that he had obtained asylum seeker-status in the United States…. Broadcast journalist Jom Petchpradab said he obtained the status three years after he fled Thailand in the aftermath of the May 2014 coup after refusing to report to the military.”



Please refer to this blog 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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