Human rights

Civil and political rights

Australian and Thai journalists found not guilty of defaming Thai navy

An Australian editor and his Thai reporter colleague were found not guilty on 1 September of criminal defamation for reporting on the alleged involvement of Thai naval officers in the trafficking of Burmese Rohingya refugees. “We’re delighted. It’s such a wonderful day for media freedom and Thai ...

Journalists face jail over Thai trafficking report

Two journalists, including an Australian editor, face jail 1 September as a Thai court is to decide whether they are guilty of defamation over a report implicating the kingdom’s navy in human trafficking. The trial has sparked widespread condemnation from human rights groups and the UN. It comes ...

Rights groups, wife of missing Lao activist renew calls for progress in case

Human rights groups and the wife of a prominent civil rights leader who disappeared nearly three years ago have called on the Lao government to adequately investigate the incident and provide information about the case’s progress. Sombath Somphone went missing on 15 December 2012, when police ...

Gov’t warns of lawsuit over new illegal logging report

Environment and agriculture ministry officials 26 August warned the authors of a new report accusing the government of colluding with timber magnate Try Pheap to illegally log the protected forests of northeastern Cambodia that they could be sued unless they made changes to the text. Keep reading   ...

Bloggers forced to tread lightly

Cambodia’s young internet users are thinking twice before discussing politics online, say prominent bloggers, after the third case of government punitive action sparked by Facebook comments within a month. On 22 August, student Kong Raiya, 25, was charged over a Facebook post linked to him for ...

Rector says sudent was warned against activism

After a Khemerak University student was jailed in Phnom Penh on 22 August over a social media post calling for a “color revolution” in Cambodia, the school’s director on 24 August claimed that politics had “poisoned” students at his institution. Police arrested Kong Raya, 25, at the university ...

British rights activist charged with defamation in Thailand

British rights activist Andy Hall has been charged with criminal defamation in Thailand after he researched a report that alleged labour abuses at the Natural Fruit Company, a large Thai pineapple wholesaler that supplies the EU. The Bangkok south criminal court decided on 24 August to indict the ...

Lack of press freedom mars Lao media anniversary

Reporters in Laos must cover the news in greater depth, an official said as the country marked the 65th anniversary of Media and Publication Day, but sources claim journalists are hamstrung by a lack of press freedom in the communist nation, with the public increasingly ...

Lao authorities free woman detained for alleged extortion photos

Authorities in Laos have released a young woman who had been detained for more than two months after a photo she took was posted on Facebook, allegedly showing police officers extorting money from her brother during a stop for a traffic violation, according to a ...

UN 'appalled' by Thailand's record jail terms for royal defamation

The United Nations on 11 August denounced “shockingly” long prison terms imposed by Thailand for insulting the monarchy and urged authorities to amend the law and release those convicted. Thai military courts on 7 August jailed two people for insulting the monarchy, one for 30 years and the ...

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