International Women’s day was celebrated across the Asia-Pacific region but women’s groups were harassed in Malaysia, Pakistan, and Cambodia. Thai media faced tremendous challenges ahead of the elections, and a new report revealed unabated media killings in Afghanistan.
To mark the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, civil society groups and communities in Cambodia and beyond condemn the rampant impunity for attacks against journalists and human rights defenders, and call for immediate action to bring all perpetrators to account.
In August, rights advocates celebrated the release of Cambodian land rights activist Tep Vanny and the repeal of Malaysia’s anti-Fake News law; but they condemned the crackdown on student protests in Bangladesh, Google’s alleged complicity with China’s censors, and genocide in Burma.
Pakistanis and Cambodians vote amid claims of irregularities; Chinese poet Liu Xia is free; Malaysia withdraws sedition cases against cartoonist Zunar; disappointing court rulings in Burma and Indonesia; and Singapore holds its 10th Pink Dot LGBTQI+ event.
Regional round-up: Some backlashes against marches by women’s groups across Asia-Pacific, a surge in social media censorship in China, Sri Lanka’s state of emergency, journalist killings in India, and passage of repressive laws are highlighted.
The two former reporters of U.S. broadcaster Radio Free Asia face seven to 15 years in jail for treason and espionage.
September developments included inspiring actions by women against a backdrop of journalist killings, internet shutdowns and censorship, as governments strove to quash opposing voices in a region with growing internal conflicts.
Rising political tension ahead of the general elections and an accompanying wave of legal action against government critics has had a chilling effect on Cambodian journalists, according to a newly published CCIM report.