Shawn W. Crispin/CPJ Senior Southeast Asia Representative

CPJ Senior Southeast Asia Representative Shawn W. Crispin is based in Bangkok, Thailand, where he has worked as a journalist and editor for more than two decades. He has led CPJ missions throughout the region and is the author of several CPJ special reports.

American journalist Nathan Maung describes alleged abuse during Myanmar imprisonment

When armed authorities raided the office of news website Kamayut Media in downtown Yangon, Myanmar on March 8, editor Nathan Maung’s initial reaction was to plead not to be shot. The American journalist and his Myanmar colleague Hanthar Nyein were arrested, blindfolded, and taken to a military interrogation center, where for more two weeks they were interrogated,…

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Irrawaddy editor Aung Zaw speaks to fears of a post-coup media crackdown in Myanmar

On February 1, Myanmar military overthrew the country’s democratically elected government and imposed a year of emergency rule until new elections are held and democracy restored. News reports have shown the coup has been met with spirited and widespread anti-military street protests, reportage the now-ruling military has tried to blackout through heavy handed measures including…

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Philippines makes premature claim to end of impunity in journalist murders

When the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural classified the 2009 Maguindanao massacre — the deadliest attack on the press ever recorded by CPJ — as “resolved,” Philippine authorities were quick to echo and tout this designation.  Too quick, as it turned out. UNESCO’s then-assistant director-general for communication and information, Moez Chackchouk, made the official…

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ABS-CBN newsroom

ABS-CBN head of news describes losses to journalists, Philippine public amid station closure

Regina Reyes says she had a “journalist’s premonition” that something bad would happen the day before Philippine authorities ordered her ABS-CBN news station to cease and desist operations on May 5. That evening, ABS-CBN, the nation’s largest news organization, said goodbye to its viewing audience and signed off the air. “Up to now, that screen…

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A man collects supplies over barbed wire in the coronavirus lockdown area of Selayang Baru, outside of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on April 26, 2020. A journalist faces prison time over her social media posts on the health crisis. (AP/Vincent Thian)

Malaysian journalist faces six years in prison over COVID-19 Facebook posts

When Malaysian journalist Wan Noor Hayati Wan Alias criticized a government decision to allow a cruise ship with Chinese tourists to dock and disembark at the coastal city of Penang in late January, a time when China was at the epicenter of the COVID-19 global pandemic, she was criminally charged with causing a public panic.

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Vietnamese blogger Tran Thi Nga is adjusting to life in the U.S. after authorities ordered her into forced exile as a condition of her early release from prison. Nga served three years of a nine-year sentence over her reporting. (Family photo)

Freedom at a high cost for Vietnamese blogger Tran Thi Nga

When Vietnamese blogger Tran Thi Nga was arrested by authorities on January 21, 2017, she did not know at the time it would likely be the last time she would ever be in her home in northern Ha Nam province.

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A market stall sells newspapers in Yangon, in June 2019. Journalists in Myanmar say their reporting is still met with legal action and censorship. (CPJ/Shawn Crispin)

From conflict zones to courtrooms, Myanmar’s journalists are under fire

Hopes for greater press freedom when Myanmar moved to quasi-democratic rule were quickly quashed with the jailing in 2017 of two Reuters reporters. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have their freedom again, but journalists and press freedom activists who met with CPJ’s Senior Southeast Asia Representative Shawn Crispin in Yangon in June said that…

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Journalists pictured in the Manila offices of Rappler, in January 2018. The outlet is one of four Philippine media groups smeared in a campaign that alleges they are in the pay of the CIA. (Reuters/Dondi Tawatao)

Rappler-CIA plot claim is attempt to cut funding, Philippine journalists say

First were the politically motivated state charges that funding provided to the news website Rappler by a U.S. philanthropic foundation represented a violation of constitutional provisions barring foreign control or ownership of Philippine media.

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A rally calling for greater press freedom in Manila in January 2018. Philippine journalists say President Rodrigo Duterte is trying to intimidate the media. (AFP/Ted Aljibe)

Mission Journal: Duterte leads tri-pronged attack on press amid condemnation of controversial policies

Pia Randa is in Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte’s crosshairs. At presidential press conferences, Duterte has repeatedly singled out the reporter by name and referred to Rappler, the news site where she works, as “fake news” and her reporting as “corrupt” and “biased” against his administration.

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A Myanmar border guard stands next to fencing near Maungdaw, Rakhine state, where structures to process Rohingya refugees are being built. Local and international journalists face challenges reporting on the crisis and other politically sensitive issues. (AFP/Cape Diamond)

Threats, arrests, and access denied as Myanmar backtracks on press freedom

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Esther Htusan is no longer safe to report from her home country, Myanmar. The Associated Press reporter fled the country late last year after being threatened for her critical reporting on various topics that authorities deem sensitive, from the ethnic Rohingya refugee exodus, the military’s controversial counterinsurgency operations in Rakhine State, to…

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