Terror, cyber libel, and resisting internet shutdowns from Rakhine to Papua

Philippine journalist Maria Ressa speaks during a press conference after attending the court’s verdict promulgation in Manila, 15 June 2020, TED ALJIBE/AFP via Getty Images

Myanmar’s longest internet shutdown enters second year

One year has passed but mobile internet networks are still restricted in at least eight townships in Myanmar’s Rakhine and Chin States. An estimated 1.4 million people are cut-off from the internet which means they are unable to access vital information about the escalating conflict in the region and the coronavirus pandemic.

Cyber libel and Terror Bill in the Philippines

The cyber libel conviction of Rappler news website CEO Maria Ressa and researcher Reynaldo Santos Jr signified the further deterioration of press freedom in the Philippines under the government of Rodrigo Duterte. The guilty verdict was handed out a month after the shutdown of ABS-CBN, a major TV and radio broadcaster. Since coming to power in 2016, Duterte has been consistent in attacking Rappler and ABS-CBN.

Indian journalists charged for COVID-19 reporting

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) recorded 15 cases of police and judicial harassment of Indian journalists in the month of May in connection with their coverage of COVID-19 and the government’s response to the public health crisis.

Papua and West Papua internet throttling declared illegal

The Jakarta State Administrative Court ruled in early June that the internet throttling enforced by the Indonesia government in Papua and West Papua provinces from 21 August to 4 September in 2019 was illegal.

Malaysia: ‘100 days of intensified silencing’

Media and human rights groups have expressed alarm over the surge in cases filed against journalists, bloggers, civil society leaders and critics of Malaysia’s new government.

In brief

Globe International Center has released its latest state of media freedom report in Mongolia. Based on its survey, it recorded a total of 274 violations of the professional rights of journalists.

Focus on gender

The Cambodian Center for Independent Media presented the winning entries in the short video competition themed “Gender Equality for the Next Generation”. It is part of the group’s advocacy action to fight against the stereotypes that disempower women in Cambodian society.



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IFEX is a global network of organisations that defend and promote the right to freedom of expression and information. Email: info@ifex.org