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Freedom of Speech in Southeast Asia
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Freedom of Speech in Southeast Asia

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Ed Legaspi, from Southeast Asian Press Alliances, gave a talk about freedom of speech/expression on November 4th, at BlogFestAsia 2012: http://2012.blogfest.asia

Ed Legaspi, from Southeast Asian Press Alliances, gave a talk about freedom of speech/expression on November 4th, at BlogFestAsia 2012: http://2012.blogfest.asia

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  • 1. Freedom of Expression, Information and the Press in Southeast Asia Presentation by Ed Legaspi Alerts and Communication Officer Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA)
  • 2. SEAPA• Members in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand; partners in Cambodia, Burma, and Timor Leste• Programs: Campaigns (Press freedom, FOE in the Internet and in ASEAN), Fellowship and Trainings• Through: Advocacy, Networking, Training and Knowledge building
  • 3. Freedom of Opinion and Expression Of all human beings• Human right to freedom? Negative right• Internationally and nationally protected• Not absolute (derogable) Look it up: Constitution, laws UDHR, ICCPR, AHRD
  • 4. Understanding FOE to disagree Freedom to hold opinions press freedomSelf-expression Right to seek, receive and impart Right to pluralism information All kinds of information and ideas From public authorit Print Broadcast Without interference * No censorship Online Art Through any media Film Beyond borders Sound Regardless of frontiers
  • 5. Which countries ratified ICCPR?• Cambodia (‘92) • Bangladesh (‘00)• Indonesia (‘06) • India (‘79)• Laos (’09) • Maldives (‘06)• Philippines (‘78) • Nepal (‘91)• Thailand (‘91) • Pakistan (‘10)• Timor Leste (‘03) • Sri Lanka (‘80)• Vietnam (‘84) • Korea, DPR (‘81) Legal obligations to • Korea, Republic of (‘76) A) Implement • Japan (’79) B) Report • Mongolia (’76)
  • 6. Legal FOE issues• ICCPR in only 7 out of 11 countries• FOI laws only in Indonesia and Thailand (plus Selangor and Penang in Malaysia)• Press control laws: Brunei, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore• Security laws: sedition, subversion, national security• Criminal laws: defamation, lese majeste, anti- state propaganda• The rise of cybercrime laws
  • 7. FOE issues in practice• Violence and impunity against the media by state and non-state actors• State interference in the media – Surveillance, censorship• Self-censorship• Disregard of good laws (press and FOI)• Criminalization of expression = suppressing freedom of opinion
  • 8. Some good news Attention; potential• Burma’s transition Sustainable? National, regional• Civil society power How effective?• Common ASEAN human rights standard• Changing media landscape Implementable? •New space •New actors •New power •New battle ground
  • 9. Directions• Mainstream media transition to cyberspace• Role of bloggers in restrictive countries• Changing communication models• Internet governance• Addressing the question of ethics• Changing priorities: from press freedom to freedom of expression
  • 10. Implications to SEAPA• Evaluating and campaigning on bad cybercrime laws• Examining the situation of blogging and social media in greater detail• Cooperating with blogger communities• … and your suggestions?
  • 11. អ អ អ អ អ Cám ơn Terima kasih ObrigadoMaraming salamat Thank you la