Civil and political rights

Freedom of expression

Myanmar: Editor Wrongfully Charged

 Myanmar authorities should immediately drop all charges against an editor for broadcasting an interview with an armed group representative, Human Rights Watch said today. On March 30, police arrested and charged Nay Myo Lin, the editor-in-chief of the Mandalay-based Voice of Myanmar, under Myanmar’s overly broad Counter-Terrorism Law for an interview ...

Cambodia: COVID-19 Clampdown on Free Speech

 Cambodian authorities should stop arresting people for expressing concerns about COVID-19’s impact in Cambodia and claiming they are spreading so-called “fake news,” Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch has documented the arrests of 17 people since late January 2020 for sharing information about the coronavirus in Cambodia. ...

Detained Myanmar Journalists Physically Abused by Karen Border Guard Force

Two journalists who were abducted and released by Border Guard Force (BGF) troops in Myawaddy Township, Karen State said they were tortured by the soldiers during interrogation. Naw Betty Han, a reporter for Frontier Myanmar, and Mar Naw, a photojournalist for Myanmar Times, were detained in the jungle ...

ZARNI MANN

In Laos, price of free speech a heavy one

The imprisonment of Houayheuang “Muay” Xayabouly, a young, female Lao environmentalist turned internet activist who simply asked for help for flood victims, should be a matter of deep concern to the international community. On Sept 5, 2018, Muay used her 17-minute-long Facebook Live broadcast to counter ...

Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal & Adam Bemma

The Truth About Hun Sen and the Media in Cambodia

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen seems to have forgotten who he is. Praising journalism and defending reporters? That is not the Hun Sen of yore. Yet this month, amid a trial of two Radio Free Asia reporters on “baseless espionage charges,” according to Human Rights Watch, the ...

David Hutt

PM: Media is gov’t development partner

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday commended three ministers for being open to journalists. Addressing some 6,000 attendees during the 4th media correspondents’ gala at the capital’s Koh Pich Convention and Exhibition Centre, he said Minister of National Defence Tea Banh, Minister of Interior Sar Kheng ...

Mech Dara

Thai journalist sentenced over tweet warns of threat to media freedom

A Thai journalist sentenced to two years in prison for defaming the owner of a poultry farm via a tweet said Thursday the kingdom’s criminal libel laws are eviscerating media freedom. A court convicted Suchanee Cloitre in December for a tweet referencing a dispute over working ...

2019 a False Dawn for Democracy in Thailand, Analysts Say

When the coterie of top generals that toppled Thailand’s government in 2014 announced the long-awaited elections that were held in March, they promised a speedy return to democracy after five years of military rule. Nine months on, the election those army men had sold as a ...

Zomber Peter

Thai reporter gets jail in libel case filed by poultry farm

A court in Thailand on Tuesday sentenced a reporter to two years in prison for criminal libel for a comment she tweeted about a labor abuse grievance at a poultry farm. The case against Suchanee Cloitre, then working for Voice TV, is one of 20 lawsuits ...

Busaba Sivasomboon and Grant Peck / AP

Myanmar’s ‘Rohingya’ vs ‘Bengali’ Hate Speech Debate

Rohingya activists have accused the Myanmar Press Council, a quasi-government media adjudication and ethics body,  of defending the practice of using the word “Bengali” to refer to the Rohingya. Rights groups and Rohingya advocates argue that the term amounts to “hate speech” and that it is ...

Shafiur Rahman

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