Our Asia-Pacific editor Mong Palatino looks back at a busy month for freedom of expression in the Asia-Pacific region.
Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa was arrested on 13 February 2019 for cyber libel regarding an article that was published in May 2012, four months before the Philippine Cyber Crime Prevention Act was signed into law. She was released after posting bail on 14 February.
Hong Kong’s free speech under attack, media restrictions at APEC summit, Rappler indicted, Shahidul Alam freed on bail, Pakistan court overturns blasphemy conviction, and disappointing referendum loss for same-sex marriage advocates in Taiwan.
Media groups and press freedom advocates have expressed support for Rappler and its president Maria Ressa as the company faces yet another legal battle.
In advance of their meeting in Argentina, civil society organizations from around the world are calling on the leaders of G20 countries to commit to building a digital ecosystem that centres human rights.
In June: Vietnam’s new Cybersecurity Law, Indonesia’s new Counterterrorism Law and Cambodia’s recent media directive threaten human rights, attacks against media continue, a massive all-women protest takes place in South Korea against ‘spy cam’ porn, and more.
This pooled editorial highlights the threats to press freedom in the Philippines under the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte.
IFEX members call on officials in Kazakhstan to review the law on ‘dissemination of deliberately false information’ as well as the disproportionate and legally questionable actions recently taken against critical media.