Category Archives: Press and medias freedom in Asia

Press and medias freedom in Asia

18 OCTOBER 2019

Pakistan denies entry to Asia coordinator for global press freedom group which has criticised government censorship

Pakistan has banned the Asia coordinator of the Committee to Protect Journalists from entering the country, in a move the global press freedom group said reinforces its “deep and growing concerns” about censorship in the country

30 AUGUST 2019

China forces out Wall Street Journal reporter Chun Han Wong after report on Xi Jinping’s cousin

China effectively expelled a Wall Street Journal reporter from the country on Friday, weeks after he co-wrote an article detailing an investigation by Australian authorities into a cousin of Chinese President Xi Jinping

26 JULY 2019

Espionage trial of two former RFA journalists starts in Cambodia

The trial of two Cambodian journalists charged with espionage has begun in the capital, Phnom Penh, in a case human rights groups say should never have been brought to court

14 JULY 2019

China’s investigative journalists warn they are ‘almost extinct’ under Xi Jinping’s strict censorship regime

She was once one of China’s most feared journalists, roaming the country uncovering stories about police brutality, wrongful convictions and environmental disasters. But these days, Zhang Wenmin struggles to be heard

22 JUNE 2019

Former RFA Reporters in Cambodian Lose Appeal as Lawyer Asks For Prompt Trial

Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin were taken into custody in November 2017 and charged with “illegally collecting information for a foreign source” under article 445 of the Criminal Code, an offense punishable by a prison term of 7 to 15 years

11 JUNE 2019

India’s top court orders release of journalist Prashant Kanojia jailed for defamation amid media outcry

The Indian Supreme Court has ordered the immediate release on bail of a freelance journalist arrested for a tweet on powerful Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, amid concerns about curbs on free speech

23 APRIL 2019

Myanmar Court Rejects Appeal of Jailed Reuters Reporters

Myanmar’s Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the final appeal of two Reuters journalists and upheld seven-year prison sentences for their reporting on the military’s brutal crackdown on Rohingya Muslims

20 APRIL 2019

Malaysia Makes Huge Leap on World Press Freedom Index

A change of governments last year dramatically improved the journalism climate in Malaysia, which stood out as a bright spot in the Asia-Pacific, watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said Thursday in releasing its worldwide press freedom rankings for 2019

19 APRIL 2019

Korea tops Asia in press freedom: Reporters Without Borders

Korea ranks first among Asian countries in press freedom, according to the 2019 World Press Freedom Index released on April 18 by the Paris-based organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

16 APRIL 2019

Imprisoned Myanmar journalists awarded Pulitzer prize

On Monday in New York the Pulitzer Center handed its award for International Reporting to Reuters staff, with a special mention for Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo who are serving seven years in Yangon’s Insein Prison for “exposing state secrets.”

29 MARCH 2019

Maria Ressa, founder of news site Rappler and Duterte critic, arrested again

Prominent Philippine journalist Maria Ressa has been re-arrested at Manila airport, allegedly for violating laws barring foreign ownership of media

13 FEBRUARY 2019

Maria Ressa, journalist and Duterte critic, arrested in Philippines

Maria Ressa, a high-profile Philippine journalist and vocal critic of the country’s president, was arrested Wednesday in connection with “cyber libel” charges against Rappler, the news site she oversees


Philippines announces libel charge against critical journalist Maria Ressa

Philippine prosecutors said Wednesday (Feb 6) they will file a libel charge carrying up to 12 years in prison against journalist Maria Ressa, who leads a news website that has clashed with President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration

11 JANUARY 2019

Burmese Reuters journalists lose appeal against seven year jail term

Two Reuters journalists jailed for seven years after investigating atrocities committed against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma had their appeal dismissed Friday, crushing their families’ hopes that they would walk free

2 JANUARY 2019

Bangladeshi journalist arrested and another on run after writing about voting irregularities in election

A Bangladeshi journalist has been arrested and another is on the run after they wrote about voting irregularities in the country’s general election

26 DECEMBER 2018

Pakistan’s journalists complain of increasing censorship

Pakistani journalists, who have taken on military dictators and been beaten and jailed in the pursuit of a free press, say they now face a form of censorship that is more subtle but no less chilling, one spearheaded by the security services

19 DECEMBER 2018

Indian journalist jailed for one year for criticising BJP government

An Indian journalist, Kishorechandra Wangkhem, was jailed for a year under the National Security Act (NSA) after he posted a video on Facebook criticising the current Indian government

12 DECEMBER 2018

Jailed for exposing a massacre: Reuters journalists mark one year in Myanmar prison

Journalists, activists and Myanmar civil society groups are calling for the immediate release of two Reuters reporters, exactly one year since they were arrested and later jailed for their work exposing a massacre of Rohingya Muslims by members of the military

29 NOVEMBER 2018

Where is China’s missing photographer Lu Guang? Hong Kong press club calls for answers

Hong Kong’s Foreign Correspondents’ Club has called on Chinese authorities to confirm the whereabouts of missing award-winning Chinese photojournalist Lu Guang, saying it is “deeply concerned” over his disappearance from China’s western Xinjiang region

10 OCTOBER 2018

Myanmar newspaper journalists held after handing themselves in to police

Three senior journalists at Myanmar’s largest private newspaper were remanded in custody after handing themselves in to police on Wednesday, facing accusations of causing “fear or alarm” following a complaint from the Yangon regional government

5 OCTOBER 2018

Hong Kong rejects visa renewal for foreign press club vice-president who chaired independence talk

The Hong Kong government has refused to renew the work visa of Financial Times correspondent Victor Mallet, who is also the first vice president of the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club


Pakistan court issues arrest warrant for journalist amid press crackdown

A court in Pakistan has issued an arrest warrant for a prominent journalist over an article he wrote in May, stoking concerns about diminishing press freedoms following a military-led crackdown on the media during elections earlier this year


Myanmar jails 2 Reuters journalists for 7 years in ‘state secrets’ case

Two Reuters journalists accused of breaching Myanmar’s state secrets law during their reporting of a massacre of Rohingya were jailed for seven years Monday, in a case that has drawn outrage as an attack on media freedom

22 AUGUST 2018

China ‘ejects’ US journalist known for reporting on Xinjiang repression

China has “effectively ejected” an American journalist from the country, a journalists’ association has said, after she won a reputation for hard-hitting reporting on the country’s troubled western Xinjiang region

6 AUGUST 2018

Bangladesh arrests top photographer amid student protests

Police have detained Shahidul Alam, a Bangladeshi photographer and social activist, for spreading anti-government propaganda. The arrest comes amid large student protests that have convulsed the country for over a week

30 JULY 2018

Malaysia drops sedition case against political cartoonist Zunar

Zulkifli Anwar Ulhaque – who goes by the pen-name Zunar – was repeatedly targeted under the former government for his cartoons, which often mocked ex-prime minister Najib Razak and his luxury-loving wife. Some of his collections were banned

9 JULY 2018

Reuters reporters charged under Myanmar colonial-era Official Secrets Act

Myanmar Judge Ye Lwin has decided to proceed to trial with charges against two Reuters journalists accused of violating Myanmar’s colonial-era Official Secrets Act in their coverage of the Rakhine crisis

14 JUNE 2018

Kashmir journalist Shujaat Bukhari shot dead in Srinagar

A leading newspaper journalist and editor in Indian-administered Kashmir, Shujaat Bukhari, has been shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Srinagar

7 JUNE 2018

Philippine website Rappler’s Editor and CEO Maria Ressa wins global press freedom award

The executive editor and CEO of Philippine news website Rappler, Ms Maria Ressa, was awarded the Golden Pen of Freedom Award by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) on Thursday (June 7)

18 MAY 2018

Injustice continues: Cambodian court extends detention of two journalists

The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum-Asia) has condemned the continued detention, which has now exceeded six months, of two former Radio Free Asia (RFA) journalists, Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin, since their arrest on November 14, 2017

15 MAY 2018

The Thailand “Bangkok Post” editor ‘forced to step down’ over critical coverage of Thai military junta government

The editor of the Bangkok Post newspaper said he has been forced to step down after refusing to curtail critical coverage of the ruling military government

8 MAY 2018

The Phnom Penh Post: CEO and five staff quit Cambodia’s last independent newspaper over interference

The Australian CEO and five senior staff at The Phnom Penh Post have quit in protest over editorial interference at Cambodia’s last independent newspaper

7 MAY 2018

Cambodia’s Phnom Penh Post sold by Australian owner to Malaysian investor who had previous business links with Hun Sen

A newspaper regarded as Cambodia’s last independent English daily has been sold to a Malaysian investor whose PR firm reportedly had previous business links to the prime minister, raising fears of a further squeeze on the free press ahead of July elections

25 APRIL 2018

Taiwan’s press freedom best in Asia

Taiwan has the best press freedom in Asia, with its ranking in the World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) moving up three notches to 42nd place in 2018, higher than any other Asian countries evaluated

18 APRIL 2018

India journalist threatened over anti-rape cartoon

Swathi Vadlamudi’s cartoon depicts a conversation between Hindu god Ram and his wife, Sita, to criticise right-wing support for the accused

21 MARCH 2018

Cambodia’s last free media on shaky ground

The Phnom Penh Post has become the latest target in Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s efforts to silence independent media in the lead-up to national elections in July. The news blackout comes as pro-government media aim to gloss over his administration’s many problems and shortcomings ahead of the polls

4 MARCH 2018

Charges against  Nepal’s Kandipur Daily journalists ‘attack on press freedom’

Journalists from Nepal’s largest newspaper have been charged with contempt of court after publishing critical stories about the country’s chief justice. The case against The Kantipur Daily is being seen by government critics as an attack on press freedom


Bangladesh’s new digital security law alarms journalists

Bangladesh’s government has approved the draft of a contentious digital security law aimed at tackling digital crimes. But journalists fear the proposed law could be used to muzzle freedom of expression in the country

16 JANUARY 2018

Philippine news Rappler website’s licence revoked after Duterte threat

The Philippine government has revoked the operating license of leading news website Rappler, in a ruling denounced by President Rodrigo Duterte’s critics as the latest blow to press freedom

10 JANUARY 2018

Myanmar court charges Reuters journalists under Official Secrets Act

Journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been charged with violating the Official Secrets Act, after almost a month behind bars. They were reporting on the persecution of Rohingya in Rakhine state

Pakistani journalist critical of military escapes kidnap attempt

A Pakistani journalist, known for criticising his country’s military establishment, said on Wednesday he had narrowly escaped being kidnapped by armed men, in an incident that came months after he complained of being harassed by security services

15 DECEMBER 2017

China Has 41 Journalists Behind Bars Amid Ever-Widening Media Controls

As governments jailed a record number of journalists around the world in 2017, a U.S.-based press freedom group says the ruling Chinese Communist Party has a total of 41 journalists currently behind bars under the newly strengthened leadership of President Xi Jinping

13 DECEMBER 2017

2 journalists, including Reuters reporter, arrested in Yangon

Two reporters, including a correspondent from the Yangon bureau of the Reuters news service, were arrested on the northern outskirts of the commercial capital last night and will face charges under Myanmar’s colonial-era Official Secrets Act

22 NOVEMBER 2017

New journalist killing shocks India

Local Indian reporter Sudip Dutta Bhaumik has been shot and killed by a soldier on a military base. The National Union of Journalists said “democracy is being murdered every day.”


Philippines remains one of the most dangerous places on earth for journalists

The Philippines has been once again been recognised as one of the world’s most deadly countries for journalists, who are targeted by corrupt political and business actors with impunity

2 OCTOBER 2017

Indian journalists form human chain to protest rising violence against them

Outraged by journalists being increasingly subjected to intimidation, threats, violence and even killings in various parts of the country, scores of journalists held a protest rally and march here on Monday to demand strong action ~ by the Centre as well as states ~ against perpetrators of such crimes


Radio Free Asia closes Phnom Penh bureau amid crackdown by Hun Sen

Radio Free Asia has decided to close its nearly 20-year old bureau in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh amid a relentless crackdown by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s authoritarian regime on independent media ahead of critical polls next year, RFA President Libby Liu announced Tuesday


Gauri Lankesh: Indian journalist shot dead in Bangalore

A prominent Indian journalist critical of Hindu nationalist politics has been shot dead in the southern state of Karnataka, police say


Cambodian government closes Cambodia Daily newspaper after tax row

One of Cambodia’s last independent newspapers, the Cambodia Daily, has announced it will close after the government ordered it to pay a huge tax bill

21 AUGUST 2017

English-language Cambodia Daily given till Sept 4 to pay  back taxes or to be closed

The Tax Department said English-language newspaper the Cambodia Daily faced shuttering and the seizure of its assets if it failed to pay back taxes it allegedly owes by September 4 – a seeming escalation in the government’s recent targeting of NGOs and independent media outlets for tax-related scrutiny

8 AUGUST 2017

Thai journalist charged over Facebook criticism of junta

Thai columnist who has chronicled the erosion of human rights under junta rule was charged with sedition on Tuesday over Facebook posts that criticised the regime

19 JUNE 2017

Journalists in Pakistan under fire from many sides

In addition to attacks from militants or criminals, Pakistani journalists are also facing threats from government agencies or the military itself

18 MAY 2017

Myanmar’s army sues journalists for satirical article

Myanmar’s military on Wednesday sued two local journalists using a controversial censorship law over an article they wrote criticising the top brass as fears grow over curbs on press freedom

3 APRIL 2017

Journalists who report criticism of military in Thailand should be killed: Senior official

A senior official from Thailand’s National Reform Council has suggested that journalists be given the death sentence if they issue reports critical of the military

2 MAY 2017

China updates internet regulations to tighten control over online news

China’s internet regulator has updated its rules on internet and social media news, requiring all online news broadcasters to obtain government licences

28 APRIL 1917

Where Is ASEAN On Press Freedom?

Southeast Asia has scored badly again on the 2017 annual World Press Freedom Index, with notably big falls registered by Thailand, where the media industry is increasingly muzzled by a military government, and in Cambodia where criminal defamation laws are being used to silence dissent

18 APRIL 2017

Myanmar publisher who criticised establishment is found stabbed to death

A Myanmar publisher whose magazine has criticised the military, political and business establishment was found stabbed to death in his office at the weekend, police said on Tuesday

14 MARCH 2017

Hard-hitting’ journalist slain in Philippines

Gunmen have shot dead a controversial newspaper columnist in the Philippines, media groups said on Tuesday, marking the latest journalist death in one of the world’s most dangerous nations for reporters

3 MARCH 2017

BBC crew attacked in China and forced to sign confession

A BBC camera crew reporting in China was attacked and later forced by police to apologise and sign a confession for trying to conduct an “illegal interview”, one of its reporters has said

22 DECEMBER 2016

Philippines journalist killed after criticising officials over illegal drug lab

A Philippine provincial newspaper publisher has been shot dead after writing a column alleging official negligence over a recently discovered methamphetamine laboratory, in the first killing of a journalist during the country’s war on drugs

 13 DECEMBER 2016

Japanese media under siege

Between 2012 and 2016, during Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s tenure, Japan plunged from 11th to 72nd out of 180 nations in Reporters Without Borders’ global media freedom ranking


Thailand stands by crackdown on ‘illegal’ news

Thailand’s government will not back down from prosecuting news outlets that publish “illegal” content, the defence minister said on Wednesday, after the BBC’s bureau in Bangkok came under scrutiny for an article about the country’s new king


Philippines: Threats against journalists denounced

International and local journalists’ groups have strongly condemned online threats made by alleged pro-government supporters to at least two female journalists in the Philippines, urging President Rodrigo Duterte to launch an investigation and penalise the perpetrators

31 MAY 2016

Philippines’ Duterte endorses killing corrupt journalists

In a press conference called on Tuesday to announce his cabinet in his southern hometown of Davao, Duterte said journalists who took bribes or engaged in other corrupt activities also deserved to die

28 MAY 2016

Philippines: Crime journalist shot dead in Manila, 34th media member killed since 2010

A journalist, Alex Balcoba, has been killed by unidentified gunmen near a watch store owned by his family in the Filipino capital of Manila, making his death the 34th since former president Benigno Aquino III came into power in 2010

16 APRIL 2016

Senior Bangladesh editor Shafik Rehman is arrested

Prominent Bangladeshi magazine editor Shafik Rehman has been arrested in Dhaka on suspicion of sedition, police and his family have said.

31 MARCH 2016

Thailand bans journalist Pravit Rojanaphruk from travelling to UN event

Thailand’s Government has banned an outspoken journalist from travelling to Finland to celebrate World Press Freedom Day in May

21 MARCH 2016

China columnist Jia Jia detained by Beijing police, his lawyer says

A lawyer for prominent Chinese columnist Jia Jia, who went missing last week, has confirmed he has been detained by Beijing police

16 MARCH 2016

Silencing the media in Malaysia

Malaysia has a long history of cracking down on freedom of expression, writes Sonia Randhawa. But that won’t stop Malaysians from fighting back


Longtime Political Cartoonist ‘Stephff’ Loses Work Permit & Visa in Thailand

A longtime political cartoonist for a major English-language newspaper said today he has been denied his media visa, working permit and press card, effectively making it illegal for him to work in Thailand as a journalist.

13 JANUARY 2016

French journalist banned from Indonesia for documentary on human rights abuses

The documentary, called “The Forgotten War in Papua”, looks into the human rights abuses allegedly carried out by the government over the past 25 years in the country’s conflict-ridden eastern Papuan provinces.

8 JANUARY 2016

The curious tale of five missing publishers in Hong Kong

The publishers’ serial disappearances have stoked “white terror” fear in Hong Kong, a rare corner of freedom in China. The city’s pro-democracy forces accused Chinese law enforcement agencies of trespassing into the Hong Kong jurisdiction and making illegal arrests

1 JANUARY 2016

Expelled French reporter flies out of China

French reporter Ursula Gauthier flew out of Beijing airport early on Friday after Chinese authorities refused to renew her press credentials over her criticism of government policy in violence-wracked Xinjiang province

25 DECEMBER 2015

China effectively expels French journalist Ursula Gauthier

Officials have refused to renew Beijing-based journalist Ursula Gauthier’s press visa unless she apologizes for a story. Gauthier wrote criticially on China’s “anti-terror” operations against Xinjiang’s Uighur Muslims

26 NOVEMBER 2015

Jailed Chinese journalist Gao Yu granted medical parole after appeal in state secrets case

Veteran Chinese journalist Gao Yu  was on Thursday granted medical parole, hours after a court reduced her seven-year jail sentence for “leaking state secrets” by two years

13 NOVEMBER 2015

Reporters Without Borders’ Bashes Thai junta on Press Freedom

“Media Hounded by Junta Since 2014 Coup,” a special report released Thursday by Paris-based Reporters Without Borders, describes junta chairman Prayuth Chan-ocha as a “predator of press freedom” who has systematically rolled back rights and expression

22 OCTOBER 2015

Bangladeshi group orders firing of female journalists

A banned right-wing group in Bangladesh has issued a threat to media companies asking them to sack female employees, claiming it is against Islamic law for women to work in the media

19 OCTOBER 2015

China holds top reporter on ‘state secrets’ charge

Authorities in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangxi are holding a top investigative journalist on suspicion of “obtaining state secrets,” his newspaper has reported