Asia

2011

Attacks on the Press   |   Philippines

Attacks on the Press 2010: Philippines

Top Developments
• Flawed procedures, witness intimidation, bribes mar Maguindanao prosecution.
• Aquino pledges reform, but two more journalists are murdered for their work.

Key Statistic
3rd: Ranking on CPJ's Impunity Index, reflecting one of the world's worst records in solving press murders.


Trial proceedings began in September for the first 19 defendants in the 2009 massacre in Maguindanao province, raising hopes that impunity's grip on the Philippines would finally be loosened. But in a special report issued in November, CPJ uncovered efforts to subvert the judicial process, including bribe offers to victims' families, and the use of intimidation and deadly violence against witnesses. CPJ's investigation also revealed deeply flawed forensic work and widespread lack of cooperation among law enforcement officials, both of which could hinder the prosecution.

February 15, 2011 12:20 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Sri Lanka

Attacks on the Press 2010: Sri Lanka

Top Developments
• Anti-government cartoonist missing; police make no evident effort to find him.
• Government readies plan for a strict media regulatory agency.

Key Statistic
19: Journalists in exile, having fled violence, imprisonment, and intimidation.


In his Independence Day speech on February 4, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared that the country "cannot be developed with harassment, gross punishments, or by the gun." But the sentence that followed--"Discipline is not revenge"--hinted at the repressive measures his administration would continue to pursue against critical news media.

February 15, 2011 12:14 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Thailand

Attacks on the Press 2010: Thailand

Top Developments
• Using emergency decree, government blocks access to thousands of websites.
• CPJ faults government, protesters for lethal violence against media.

Key Statistic
2: Journalists killed during violent clashes between security forces and protesters in Bangkok.


Armed clashes between anti-government protesters and state security forces resulted in 91 deaths and more than 1,800 injuries, a toll that deepened Thailand's debilitating five-year-old political crisis. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva invoked an emergency decree to contain the protests and employed its discretionary powers to sharply curb press freedom, which included far-ranging Internet censorship.

February 15, 2011 12:14 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Vietnam

Attacks on the Press 2010: Vietnam

Top Developments
• In run-up to Communist Party Congress, authorities clamp down on Internet.
• Critical blogs targeted in hacking attacks; government complicity seen.

Key Statistic
5: Online journalists imprisoned on December 1, reflecting crackdown on Internet commentary.


Vietnam targeted online journalists in a clampdown on dissent ahead of a 2011 Communist Party Congress at which top government appointments and policies were to be determined. At least five journalistic bloggers were among dozens of activists arrested on national security-related charges, including "spreading propaganda against the state" and "abusing democratic freedoms." The government maintained some of the world's strictest Internet controls, which included blocks on Facebook and numerous Vietnamese-language websites, including those maintained by the exile-run, pro-democracy Viet Tan and human rights organizations critical of the government. Independent analysts found evidence of official involvement in hacking attacks on critical blogs and websites.

February 15, 2011 12:04 AM ET

Alerts   |   Australia, Burma

Australian publisher detained in Burma

In this June 2007 photo, Ross Dunkley poses with narcotics to be destroyed in Burma. Dunkley is currently being held on immigration charges. (AP/Khin Maung Win)

Bangkok, February 14, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned that authorities have detained Ross Dunkley, editor-in-chief and chief executive officer of the Myanmar Times newspaper, on immigration-related charges in Burma.  

February 14, 2011 12:55 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Burma

Burmese video journalist given 13 years in jail

New York, February 11, 2011--Burma's new government under Prime Minister Thein Sein must put an end to the former military junta's despicable policy of imprisoning independent journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The most recent case to come to light is the 13-year sentencing of Maung Maung Zeya in a trial held within Insein Prison on February 4. Staff at the Oslo-based Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), for which the journalist worked, confirmed the decision to CPJ. Maung Maung Zeya was convicted for contacting Burmese exiled media and violating the Electronics Act. The court's sentence came on the same day Thein Sein was sworn into office. 

February 11, 2011 4:27 PM ET

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Blog   |   Nepal

Nepal's leadership vacuum threatens press freedom

Prime Minister Jhalnath Khanal has already lost some support. (Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar)

Nepal's new Prime Minister Jhalnath Khanal should be setting a new tone. Law and order--and with it, journalists' security--have suffered in the seven months since Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned and has been filling in as interim leader. Khanal could be making public commitments to reversing the atmosphere of impunity that is promoting media attacks. Instead, he is struggling to form a new government amid challenges to his tenuous hold on power.  

February 10, 2011 1:21 PM ET

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Blog   |   Bangladesh

Press freedom has its limitations in Bangladesh

Opposition supporters read a newspaper outside an office of Bangladesh's opposition Awami League party in Dhaka. (Reuters)

In the last decade, the growth of print and electronic media and a new generation of journalists have changed the face of the media in Bangladesh. But there is a long way to go until there is true press freedom. Politicians, criminals, and businessman exert undue influence, and the industry itself lacks the professionalism to withstand it. 

February 8, 2011 10:21 AM ET

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Alerts   |   India

Police in India must drop charges against Tehelka reporter

New York, February 7, 2011--Authorities in Karnataka state should drop charges against Tehelka magazine correspondent K.K. Shahina that appear intended to discredit her reporting, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Police visited her residence in Kerala state twice in January and left notices for her to appear for questioning, leading her to fear she will be taken into custody, she told CPJ by e-mail

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