THE state of press freedom and free expression declined across Southeast Asia in 2007, according to a yearend report of the Bangkok-based regional media watchdog, Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA).
A coalition of press freedom advocacy groups from Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, SEAPA aims to unite independent journalists and press-related organizations in the region into a force for the protection and promotion of press freedom and free expression in Southeast Asia. SEAPA is composed of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (Indonesia), the Jakarta-based Institute for the Study of the Free Flow of Information (ISAI), the Manila-based Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, and the Thai Journalists Association.
Below is the SEAPA media statement:
Press freedom and free expression decline throughout Southeast Asia in 2007
FROM the freest to the most restricted among them, the countries of Southeast Asia in 2007 suffered a weakening of press freedom.
The situation in Burma — already the worst in terms of environments for free expression and human rights — further deteriorated right before the whole world’s eyes. A notorious regime predictable for its censorship and tight controls now plunges into even more uncertain harshness.
Read the full country reports on Southeast Asia here.
Meanwhile, Singapore widened the scope of its uncompromising media laws to include the new media even as citizens are beginning to test the erstwhile freedom found on the Internet. A similar development transpired in Malaysia, which is showing signs of backing down from a long-standing promise to never censor the Internet and looking for ways to take on bloggers in court, while political protests in the last quarter of the year have put the government on edge.
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- Southeast Asian Press Alliance
- Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
- Article 19
- Reporters Without Borders
- Jeff Ooi | Screenshots
- Nepali Times
- Pakistan Press Foundation
- United We Blog!
- Don’t Block the Blog
- Global Voices Online
- Committee to Protect Journalists
- Citizen Lab
- Berkman Center for Internet and Society
- Ethan Zuckerman | My Heart’s in Accra
- Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility
- Southeast Asian Center for E-Media
- Rebecca MacKinnon | RConversation
- James Gomez | JGNews
- Open Net Initiative
- Dr. Awab Alvi | Teeth Maestro
- Manuel Quezon III
- Journalism and Media Studies Center, University of Hong Kong
- Max Limpag | Leon Kilat: The Cybercafe Experiments
- Ellen Tordesillas
- Carol Arguillas | Mindanao Alerts
- CMFR’s Freedom Watch
- Sun Star Blog Chronicles
- Erwin Oliva | cyberbaguioboy
- John Nery | Newsstand
- Dean Jorge Bocobo | Philippine Commentary
- Philippine Network Foundation
- Foundation for Media Alternatives
- Open Society Institute
- Prachatai Daily
- Kom Chad Luek
- Institute of Policy Studies (Singapore)
- Vernon Totanes | Filipino Librarian
- Andrew Lih